Did Gnarls Barkley's video producers "swipe" a photographer's style?



Clayton Cubitt, whose photography I've blogged about a bunch of times here on BoingBoing, writes...

Lagos Calling”, (above right) mixing African tribal style with working class British skinhead punk style. My good friend and constant collaborator, René Garza, and I had this idea about five years ago, and just finally got around to doing it last year. It felt good to get it out of our heads.

I don’t know when the idea for the Gnarls Barkley video “Going On” (above left)  was hatched, or shot, but it’s just coming out now and bears a striking resemblance to our inspiration. I think this is a lovely happenstance, and it’s happened to me before.

I’m a firm believer in artistic “multiples”, as Malcolm Gladwell writes about scientific discovery in The New Yorker...

But then, later, Clayton updates his post:

It looks like I spoke too soon. Turns out the production people for the Gnarls Barkley video were taking their inspiration from our shoot after all, and even contacted my stylist Rene’ in April to ask him where he had sourced the beaded African accessories. They didn’t bother hiring him for the job though, or crediting either of us for the advance “art direction.” You’re welcome anyway, Gnarls! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

Link, includes text of an email from the producer:

“Hey there Rene,

I got your name from [redacted]
We are producing a video for Gnarls Barkley and found out that you were the
stylist on the shoot with the skinhead look with african/beaded accessories.
For the video we are trying to hunt down some accessories, like beaded
belts, suspenders, chokers and thought you might help point me in that
direction.

Any advice?

Thanks,
[redacted]

Executive Producer

Revolver Film Company”.

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