Lyricist v. Painter: Copyfight!

Never paint your idols’ copyrighted lyrics for your gallery show, they’ll always disappoint you (with a cease and desist letter). That’s the sad story of Erik den Breejen, whose show just closed in NYC on a sour note, as Van Dyke Parks, lyricist for the Beach Boys’ “Smile,” took quite unhappily to reproduction of his words in paint. The biggest fault here is perhaps having so-so taste in music. Here we have reproduced a small version of one of den Breejen’s paintings. HOW DOES IT FEEL. (Probably okay actually! Does it devalue the work? Unlikely.) Maybe it’s the universe trying to teach him a harsh lesson: his wordless paintings are stronger anyway.