Artist Sues GM for Copyright Infringement

Adrian Faulkner, also known as ‘Smash 137,’ claims his street art was used in a Cadillac XT5 marketing campaign without his consent.

byJustin Hughes|


Cadillac would not have been associated with graffiti in the past, but Cadillac's "The Art of the Drive" campaign did exactly that. One of the street artists whose work was featured prominently in the campaign has now filed a lawsuit against General Motors for using his work without permission, reports Automotive News.

The location in question is known as the Z Lot, a Detroit parking garage in its central business district. Rather than make it another anonymous concrete slab, numerous artists from around the world were brought in to decorate the Z, inside and out. 

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Adrian Faulkner, also known as "Smash 137," is listed as one of the artists who worked on this project. Faulkner claims that GM set a photo campaign involving the Cadillac XT5 around his mural. He further alleges that the camera angles used intentionally omit his name or any credit for painting the mural in the first place and that this was done without his permission.

The "defendants' exploitation of plaintiff's work damages his reputation especially because he has carefully and selectively approached any association with corporate culture and mass-market consumerism," the suit states.

A Cadillac spokesperson declined to comment to Automotive News, citing a company policy against commenting on pending litigation.