Local Artist Says American Eagle Outfitters Used His Work Without Permission

A pair of eyeballs that adorn the walls of the Marguilles Warehouse in Wynwood are at the center of a lawsuit from a local artist against American Eagle Outfitters.

David Anasagasti, also known by his pseudonym “Ahol sniffs glue,” painted the piece. The painting is a staple in Wynwood and he’s also painted a commissioned wall on the corner of NW 27th Avenue and 2nd Avenue.

“He’s a Cuban-American form a very modest, humble upbringing and working class family and they represent the eyes of the working class,” said Gregg Shienbaum, owner of Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art.

The same eyes also appear to peer out from behind a man holding a paint can in a photograph for an American Eagle Outfitters 2014 campaign. That’s led Anasagasti to file a lawsuit against the company claiming AEO infringed upon his work.

“You’ve got these companies using my art, my design and they ain’t paying me? It’s on,” Anasagasti said.

The lawsuit claims the company used his art to promote its merchandise. The suit said the artwork has appeared on American Eagle’s homepage and billboards among other places, and the artist has yet to be compensated.

The suit also claimed AEO used the artwork in global campaigns in Japan and at the grand opening of a store in Medellin, Colombia.

Sheinbaum has represented the artist for two years and said they’re excited about the possibility the lawsuit brings and about its possible bigger picture significance.

“He’s very excited about it,” Sheinbaum said. “I spoke to him today and we were talking about the possibility that this may set precedent.”

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