...until recently, when a graffiti artist painted one of those weird things on a wall and solicited $100,000 from Kanye himself.
It all started a little over a year ago when a Getty photographer named Jason Merritt took this picture of Kanye and Kim at the Grammys.
Since it was already a habit of mine to photoshop Kanye kissing himself, my friend Erin Chack tipped me off about the photo and I did what I do best — I photoshopped Kanye kissing himself.
Months went by and I forgot about the Kanyes. I thought they were in meme heaven, or wherever a meme goes after @thefatjewish posts it on Instagram to celebrate a major event in history.
Boy, was I wrong.
After a quiet year, the Kanyes were back and bigger than ever — a graffiti artist named Scott Marsh had taken my idea and painted it on a wall in Sydney.
I thought the mural was awesome. I've never inspired anything like that, and I could never imagine painting something that enormous.
Here's where things got sticky:
After the mural went viral, Marsh announced that he was selling a "buff edition" for $100,000. Once it was purchased, he would paint over the mural within 24 hours and send the buyer a print of the mural covered in the same white paint.
This offer was aimed at Kanye.
For the record, I really, really love Kanye. I never wanted my stupid meme to cost him (or anyone else) $100,000 and thousands in shoes. It made me break out in hives.
Meanwhile, Marsh was selling smaller editions of the mural for $40 and announcing that his work would never be this affordable again.
After three weeks on the market, reports came out that someone actually bought the "buff edition" and paid Marsh $100,000 to cover up the Kanyes.
There's no way for me to know if Scott Marsh actually received $100,000. He could just be a brilliant viral marketer. Either way, he's gained a lot of publicity from both the mural and the transaction, and he has yet to mention me or Jason Merritt.
But wait, there's more!
Right after Scott Marsh covered his mural, another one popped up in its place — a painting of a local radio personality kissing himself in the style of my Kanye photoshop.
Marsh wasn't too happy about someone taking his idea.
And people were quick to point out the irony.
Which brings us to today:
It's been a week since the Kanye mural was covered up and I finally received a message from Scott Marsh. This is the first time he's made contact.
The strange thing? Scott followed me on Instagram back in March. He's known my name and handle for weeks and didn't reach out until the excitement had settled.
Scott, if you're reading this, you are very talented and I've enjoyed your past work. I was ecstatic about the mural until you used it to solicit all that money. As you know, it's not fun when someone else profits off your idea.
To answer your question, you should go ahead and credit Getty photographer Jason Merritt. This all would not have been possible without his work.
2016 is weird.
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