Artist Who Sculpted du Sable Bust on Michigan Avenue Says His Work Was Copied in Nearby Park

It is a favorite tourist spot on the Michigan Avenue Bridge: Erik Brome’s bust of Chicago founder Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.

"I was trying to create a work of art, not just a bust," Brome said. "It's mine. It’s a work of art and I think its an exceptional bust, one of my best ones."

But now, the Woodstock sculptor says, another artist is using his work without his permission. He says it's on a piece located on Dusable Park near Navy Pier.

"I feel like I have been infringed on but, there's an artists code that I know because I grew up in an artistic household," he said. "That when people make work you respect it. It's their work. I think he broke that code."

Blome says the heads are the same. The only difference he says is the size, of course, and that this one is resting on its side.

Blome says it took four months and countless hours to define his artistic vision of what du Sablelooked like. A vision he says the other artist simply scanned and made his own.

Blome, who has sculpted some of Chicago’s most famous works, says artistic appropriation has always been a concern.

But he says this is different than Andy Warhol and a Campbell's soup can.

"Those images are mass produced items that everyone is familiar with," Blome said.

Now he is deciding what to do next. He has started a GoFundMe page in the event this copyright battle goes to court.

"Art and life never resolve themselves," he said. The resolution is to tell you. I need people to understand what he did. OK, and whether I bring a legal action against him or I don’t is almost irrelevant. What’s relevant is that its my work and people needed to know that and to understand that he has taken my work."

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