Zadig & Voltaire Accused of Plagiarizing Artist for Fashion Week Ad –

High fashion brand Zadig & Voltaire is under fire for a promotional video featuring a flaming fountain after social media users said it bore a striking resemblance to a work by artist Julian Charrière.

The video was first posted to Z&V’s Instagram on January 19 to promote its Women’s Fall-Winter 2023 show for Paris Fashion Week. In the video, a fountain’s three rings are lit with orange flames that consume the background. The fountain was featured in two more promotional videos posted to the account, as of Friday. 

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Users quickly compared the video to the 2019 work And Beneath It All Flows Liquid Fire by Julian Charrière, a French-Swiss artist represented by Sean Kelly Gallery. Charrière, a participant in the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, created a looping color film of a two-ringed fountain consumed in slow-motion flames against a black backdrop. The work has been exhibited in France, Switzerland, and New York, among other locations, and was featured in the most recent Art Basel Miami Beach.

In both Charrière’s artwork and the video posted by Zadig & Voltaire, the sound of a crackling fire is audible.

A still from Julian Charrière’s, ‘And Beneath It All Flows Liquid Fire’, 2019.

Courtesy Sean Kelly

“I have never been contacted by this brand and must clearly state I have not given any permission,” Charrière said in a statement on Instagram. “I only discovered this campaign a few days ago, when people reached out to me about it and started tagging me.”

“As of now there is no resolution on this matter and it seems that the company started deleting every comment mentioning my name under any of their posts and reels,” he continued, and shared a video of the original artwork. His post currently has more than 2,000 likes and has been shared by prominent art professionals such as artist Olafur Eliasson. 

A representative for Sean Kelly Gallery told ARTnews that “Julian Charrière did not participate or give permission for his work to be used in this manner.”

Zadig & Voltaire has not responded to ARTnews‘s request for comment. 

The brand’s runway show was held Friday evening at Poush, a trendy exhibition and studio space in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers dedicated to emerging artists. 

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