But then again what is that line between fine art and copyright infringement? I'm not sure if Warhol sought permission with his soup cans etc but he certainly sold them, and to go full circle, now Campbells are even selling their own Warhol variants. I'm not saying there's a blanket justification for artists to use the 'it's artistic interpretation' argument, but when commercial entities shove their products in our faces incessantly in the public realm, without our prior permission, then who can really blame this shit filtering into the art that gets churned out the other side? Think about it, shit is getting sold to us ALL the time, CONSTANTLY in our visual and even personal space, be that radio, tv, online, hell even taking a walk you cant get away from fucking billboards or flyers. I think it's inevitable that these things will pop through into art time and again when people are bombarded with it.
I think the reason a lot of guys use this format is because chances are:
a) First and foremost, they're actually inspired by the thing they're illustrating which compels them to make a piece.
b) they feel they can get more interest attaching it to a popular 'thing' than painstakingly creating an original piece that no one gives a rat's ass about.
Like I said before, kudos to the guys going for it the legit way, personally I wouldn't sell something based on another intellectual property unless I was commissioned by the respective parties. I'd be happy making fan pieces, but making money purely on the coat tails of something proven successful is an ethical minefield.
In the end, if anything, It seems a bit fucking tacky, like all the half assed 'printers' I see locally that sell banksy canvasses for £20, £30, £60 even £100+. They rip images off the net print them through a large scale epson onto canvas, slam them in shop window = LAZY ASS PURE PROFIT. Fucking hell the lot of us must be doing something wrong, especially when I see you guys sell for circa $20-$30 for a beautiful hand pulled print.