What the...??

Did Justin Osbourn of Slasher Design Plagiarize Other Artists’ Work?

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There’s a scandal unfolding at MetalBandArt.com, the artwork-focused site founded and curated by Rodney Githens of Vertebrae33 (Githens has done plenty of design work for MetalSucks in the past): Justin Osbourn of Slasher Design has been accused of blatantly ripping off sections of other artists’ work and passing them off as his own. When presented with the visual evidence posted at MetalBandArt.com it’s incredibly hard to justify these actions as anything other than plagiarism.

I always try to give artists (or anyone, really) the benefit of the doubt in these kinds of situations as I’m generally a “glass half full” kind of guy, and I approached this article with the same attitude. It’s tempting at first to say, “He didn’t plagiarize… his artwork was simply inspired by other works.” But there are full sections of particular paintings by Osbourn that are exactly the same as older works of art, save maybe a little brushing, coloration and touching up. The visual evidence is incredibly hard to ignore. For example, this spread from the album artwork for Aborted’s Global Flatline, released last year:

Aborted - Global Flatline plagiarism

The most infuriating part is that Osbourn is clearly a very talented artist more than capable of producing striking original artwork on his own. Why did he feel as if it was OK to lift segments of other artists’ works? Did he just think it was harmless crime that no one would notice?

Check out the MetalBandArt.com article for yourself for more examples and see what you think. MetalBandArt.com claims that there have been many more examples sent into the site since the article was first published, and several artists whose work was lifted have reached out to express their anger.

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