These two pieces of art have created a stir, amongst the public --- for it's sacrilegious handling of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" --- and between the artists. Dick Detzner contacted me personally. Howard Hallis contacted me on behalf of his cousin Aubrey Hallis. And finally, I was able to get in touch with Aubrey Hallis himself.
Here are the two substantially similar pieces of breakfast art by different artists.|
"The Last Pancake Breakfast" © 2000 by Dick Detzner
This artwork was displayed at Chicago Athenaeum Museum in 2001. Dick Detzner writes, "I conceived the idea for "The Last Pancake Breakfast" as a continuation of a series I had been working on for years, called "Corporate Sacrilege". It was not until I received a great deal of publicity in 2001 that someone claiming to be the cousin of Aubrey Hallis sent me an email saying that someone else had done a similar painting already. Not only do I find it incredible-- literally-- that someone else would have nearly the exact same treatment of the same idea, but the fact that the supposed artist himself has not contacted me puts it past believability. Again, if you look at my artwork you'll see that "The Last Pancake Breakfast" is part of a much larger body of work".
Image used by permission. Courtesy Dick Detzner.
For more information about the artist and for a look at more of his Corporate Sacrilidge art series, visit his site at www.detzner.com.
"The Last Breakfast" © 1996 by Aubrey Hallis
The picture was displayed in Canadian art shows in Calgary, and North Battleford, Canada. Howard Hallis writes on his website, [paraphased and edited here by me for brevity], "In 1996, my cousin Aubrey Hallis completed this painting. It's titled "The Last Breakfast". I hung it proudly in my room when Aub sent me a print. One day in 2001, I'm checking the news as I always do and I came across an article about a painting on display at Chicago Athenaeum Museum that surprised me. When I realized this was NOT Aubrey's painting, but one done by another Chicago based artist Dick Detzner, I got extremely pissed. Now he was getting all the credit and controversy, which is the stuff artists live for! Aubrey is not what you would call a high profile artist in the art world. Mr. Detzner is probably telling the truth here when he says it's just an uncanny synchronicity".
I received a lengthy communication from "The Last Breakfast" artist Aubrey Hallis as well. Essentially, he says that he did attempt to contact Dick Detzner in 2001 but received no reply (and thought it rude). Aubrey says he did indeed paint this in 1996, and it's part of his larger body of work called "Copyrights of Passage".
He does not believe Dick Detzner ripped off his idea, as some have implied. Indeed, he is surprised more such similar works have not surfaced. Aubrey Hallis writes, "I guess what I¹m saying is I¹m not pretentious enough to believe that this is such an original idea. The Last Supper must have been painted thousands of times before with new characters in the place of the big C and his posse. It was only a matter of time before someone put breakfast cereal advertising mascots into Da Vinci¹s famous work. And now someone, at least 2 of us have. I like Mr. Detzner's version of this painting. He went a different way with it, but I still like it".
"I was going with a whole juxtaposition of the low-brow advertising art into highbrow fine art paintings thing. I never set out to make a statement about religion, that was always just a nice side effect".
"About 3 years have passed since I first found out about Mr. Detzner¹s version of the Last Breakfast and I still feel it¹s all coincidence, but the tone of Mr. Detzner¹s letter to Topher¹s web site does make me take pause. DID HE STEAL THIS IDEA FROM ME? Nah, probably not. But I did paint mine first. And that¹s something Dick¹s just gonna have to face."
Image used by permission. Courtesy Howard Hallis.
For more information about the artist and for a look at more of his Copy-Rights of Passage art series, visit Aubrey Hallis' site at http://members.shaw.ca/aahallis/art.htm.
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© 2004 Topher