The art world has its own Diet Prada

The art world has its own Diet Prada


Text: Aravin Sandran

Monkey see, monkey do

Over the last four years since its inception, the previously anonymous and currently infamous Instagram account, Diet Prada has been calling out every mother and son in the fashion world for their knock-offs. Bitchy and unstoppable, it has thrown shade at celebrities and designers and spilled the tea on trade secrets while the rest of the industry eats it all up with a bucket of popcorn. 

Now the art world has to watch its back too. Launched in 2016, anonymous Instagram account, @whos____who has been exposing artists, dead and alive, who have blatantly referenced or copied an existing work. Like Diet Prada, each post places photographs of the original and rip-off side by side with the artists’ names as hashtags. However, unlike Diet Prada's sassy commentary, no further information or opinion is given, not even the date of creation, or which is the original. Instead, it has left its more than 38,000 followers to debate, discuss and diss the artist based on the levels of appropriation and execution in the comments section.


In the comments section, followers provide background information, including dates and contextualisation, which on some occasions, excuse the offending artist. Others are critical of the account itself. "Some of the comparisons on this account are on point but others are unnecessary. The more important question is which is more successful and why. That will give us better insight into the nature of perception", comments @caseacreek on a post contrasting a Tom Friedman and Antony Gormley sugar-cube figure.

While the account spotlights mostly Western art at the moment, it's only a matter of time before it turns its gaze towards Asia, so lather on that sunscreen because the shade might hit close to home. 

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