UNITED STATES—Kellogg Barnsley here folks, Art Critic and yes, its true I am famous for finishing sentences (at a fee) Jane Gang is fighting back: Her request to Justin Bieber & Joe Termini is to invest in the true, authentic, original Cash Only Brand or face a Lawsuit. What? I love her, the Cash Only Queen!
So JG, CEO of Gangland Empire & Cash Only what was your initial reaction to the global press & paparazzi coverage: Bieber’s Lamborghini, Chinos, sneakers with ‘Cash Only’ tag credited to Joe Termini on April 4th onwards?
JG: It’s a 2Oth/21st century Artist’s worst nightmare: Within a matter of hours millions see Justin Bieber’s latest catchy tune to buy into: By promoting and endorsing his friend Joe Termini ‘s body of art which included the use of, out of context word play: ‘Cash Only’ was a kick to the gut. ‘…The words promote the art work of his longtime artist’s pal Joe Termini (YouTube: The MegaAgency) and ‘The words ‘Cash Only’ painted on the side (of Bieber’s Lamborghini) are thought to be the work of his photographer friend Joe Termini who uses the phrase in his creations.’ (Metro newspaper online) Bieber sporting ‘kooky chinos with the words Cash Only on the hem’ (Daily Mail Online) etc…Not only is this a case of Intellectual Property, Copyright, Trademark and Plagiarism, it is also what one might call an Art Heist of another artist’s body of work by taking the credit for word play associated with original artworks, capturing worldwide publicity via Bieber’s fan base, profiteering from over 20 years of my groundwork, skills, creative mind, the giveaways, and building my brand one brick at a time. I’ve paid everyone who ever worked for me over the years, and I’ve funded ‘Cash Only’ production myself while actively seeking investors. If I wasn’t so broke by all the infringements on this brand which I trademarked in 2005, if my ownership rights were respected, or even my artwork supported, I might find it amusing or come up with a dismissive snap like artist Barbara Kruger when Supreme & Married to the Mob squabbled in court over her appropriated red box (logo).
One has to ask: What would be the next step for Termini & Bieber with this publicity stunt? Apparel and other products: A lifestyle brand? Both are intelligent and well versed in brand building, endorsements and the value of promotion. Bieber was the face of Calvin Klein. Kellogg, a question for you: Is Kate McKinnon a sexier Bieber than Bieber himself?
Kellogg: Now that’s a question, JG.
JG: Beebs has his own clothing label, as the thread of life would have it Robbie Williams has been seen wearing his kit. Robbie has a ‘Dog’s Bollocks’ ID bracelet from my first collection, 2000, London.
Kellogg: So your brand began around 2000 really, with the ID bracelets in London?
JG: It was born out of my body of artwork, the Stripper series: 1997-2003.
Joe Termini, although being almost two generations younger than myself most definitely knows of my original brand as we have mutual friends and ‘Cash Only’ products were everywhere on the downtown scene. Some mutual friends in high profile professions know the brand & its hystory. It’s possible that, as a fan of Supreme & Thrasher, Bieber himself may be fully aware that that’s my brand. He’s hip to the same scene in a nerdy, glass cagey type of way.
Kellogg: I know that you’ve used your writing skills in an effort to keep control of the brand’s history in Series 1, The Clean Up Saga.
JG: By using my creative arsenal I fight and defend ownership of my Intellectual Property, I focused on publishing articles: Condensed semi-fictions after I had lost everything in 2015. By this I can retain some control of the factual hystory of this brand: The Prologue: Part 1, was born out of a lifetime of infringement. I can’t afford watercolor paper right now but people know who I am. I’m nearly 60. The Art & Entertainment world is still full of my contemporaries.
Kellogg: What used to be scorned upon by the gatekeepers of the art world; an artist ‘self promoting’ is now passé, Selfie-promotion is the game. Even art critics are self-promoters of their opinions about their passion, as I pointed out to fellow critic Jerry Saltz. (Bravo Jerry on Pulitzer Prize 2018). What do business owners do? They promote their business. As an individual artist and business owner you promote your art & your business: ‘Cash Only.’
JG: I’m a compulsive promoter, and of other artists & filmmakers. I’ve spent many years promoting and slowly building my brand ‘Cash Only’ born out of my Stripper live paintings made in New Jersey, NYC and London. I love to flip phrases; ‘Monet Grows On Trees’ is a graphix from 2014, Los Angeles, with the weed industry in the headlines.
Kellogg: Your brand ‘Cash Only’ obviously, is HUGE, as you’ve had so many infringers since 2005. Any Dragon’s Den of investors can see that. This is a Global brand and it must be the most infringed upon contemporary Label EVER (Yes, this is a challenge people). Will you share some other facts?
JG: In 2005 Guess Jeans copied a tee, within three weeks and four lawyer’s letters they respectfully removed all the merchandise from their stores and off their online stores. After that episode I applied and brought the Trademark. By 2012 the goal posts had moved and 12 +fellow street-wear labels were infringing via 55+ websites and more overseas, at least five other individuals had set themselves up as ‘Cash Only’ brands trading the name in apparel. Designers Philip Lim & Christian Audigier were infringing. I was going broke, sucked dry by vampires piggy-backing.
I was always asking people who could, to invest and help distribute: In 2008 I was asked by my gallery Briggs Robinson of Chelsea Art District, NYC if I wanted to do an Artist Capsule Collection for Member’s Only brand. Arnold Simon and his fashion group which included, Baby Phat, Earl Jeans and at one time: Calvin Klein were re-launching it: I took samples of ‘Cash Only’, including our first skateboard made to show him. He must want to invest in this brand, already a hit on the downtown scene? It was a No.
2011, I ran into Russell Simmons and asked him if be interested in investing. Ok, I did it my own weird socially inept way, by passing him a note and then not mentioning it again when he came to join us by the pool. Yet its not the only time Def Jam Recordings has been touched by this brand name, in 2008 Cash Only & Def Jam sponsored a DJ friend on the L.E.S. NYC. Everyone knows that brand is mine! I sold Cash Only products in Soho House NYC in 2006. I was featured in House 11 magazine 2009: Awkward.
I was fighting to reclaim my brand from multiple infringers since 2012 and had hired Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. To no avail, no one cared by then if you owned the TM or not. The FKK&S experience left me, with more questions than answers.
I set up a meeting while I was in NYC, with Jaggi Singh, A3 Strategic Partners Ltd. He had bought the rights to Member’s Only Brand from Arnold Simon in 2009. BTW, I never got paid one cent from the Artist Capsule Collection, which had appeared on ENews, was sold at Kitson and other outlets. Would he invest in ‘Cash Only’? Apart from style-wise stores & dope graphics, I had evidence of the global appeal this brand has via the multitude of the sales made by infringers who were selling directly from the production line onto online stores: from Urban Outfitters, Karmaloop to Nordstrom. This included huge brand names like Fresh Jive and young upstarts, Booger Kids. He too declined an interest. How odd.
Kellogg: JG! You hold the Mac Donald’s prize for franchising an Art Brand. Except none of the ‘franchisers’ pay a license fee. Bieber & Termini, do the right thing and invest in the true Cash Only brand and get yourself some Cash Only custom rims to pimp that ride: www.cashonlyapparel.com
JG: Ha Ha! Yes, I have been building my brand since 2000 and from 2008 through very difficult circumstances. These already rich young men cannot just swoop in and take the credit for and profit from my integrity and creations as an artist and businesswoman. Ok I was a ‘sucker’ but that’s in the past & my son is on his way up: I am a ‘teacher’ now. What does my son, Boulevard think about all this? What message is Bieber giving out to these kids, his fans? These two clowns go to Hillsong Church; Pastor Carl Lentz is their bud. I take my son to Hillsong, Harvest Church & Kensington Temple, it’s the same bible based teaching of Jesus Christ. So now will they be seen to promote theft?
Part 4’s main theme of Artists v. Stiffs will be how organically, I got involved with this type of church practice through, ironically (Yes, there are jokes) the Iranian Christian contingent, exactly this time last year. Briefly: Thank you Pastor Farideh Rastegar and for my interpreter of Farsi, for practical help & for revealing truths: The Word is mighty. And for many years my subconscious has been infected by tricks.
Another major theme of Pt4 is the hidden meanings revealed around language, consciousness, the courtroom, legalese and the church. As a taster: More people know that consciousness only absorbs and acts on positives; Something written as a negative such as ‘Thou shall not steal’ actually becomes the opposite in subconscious orders: Thou shall steal, Thou shall lie, Thou shall commit adultery etc… these man made interpretations of the Law of Words aka the War of Words are therefore constantly broken and at odds with each other and we ‘civilized’ humans are driven into a constant fight with our ‘demons’, only this is manufactured. It is a power play by those who decided to control others, to control the mass, through church and through courtrooms: ‘Say Aye to the Admiralty’s Oar!’ Word.
Kellogg: O my JG. As a penultimate example of the many levels of synchronicity and irony relevant to the thread weaving in Artists v. Stiffs, non-fiction, Judge Joe Brown has been following your social media expose of a fraud in progress. That ballooned from a personal matter, a way to keep you and Boulevard alive which then became one of pubic interest. As a criminal judge with an honorable reputation he is not going to endorse any old rubbish or victim whining.
JG: That is correct. He’s also endorsing my expose on this juggernaut from across the pond concerning my professional work. Over 20 years of work-project, joy-ridden by kids 20/30 yrs younger, teleported into malleable minds seeking identity through their idols. This live wire ignites a fuse to begin Series 2 of The Clean Up Saga.
I have to fight, as I am not supported within my community. The question arises like a busting pustule: WHO is behind this consistent effort to rob me of my Body of Work on both sides of the pond? Who is behind this constant slandering of my integrity as a professional artist and writer? I have known for some time that I was Blacklisted from 1983, Slade School of Art from graduation.
Boulevard’s singing coach last week gave him ‘Sorry’ to practice. It’s in a suitable key.
“N’ICE.” There, that one’s for free, just remember who to credit, as it’s bad luck to steal from the creator.
Kellogg: Thank you, Jane Gang. You have it folks. Is it a lawsuit or an investment opportunity 4 Bieber, Def Jam & Joe Termini?
Written By Kellogg Barnsley