Artist Says He Settled With N.R.A. Over Sculpture Used in Video

Artist Says He Settled With N.R.A. Over Sculpture Used in Video


Anish Kapoor, a London-based artist known for ambitious public works, said on Thursday that National Rifle Association had agreed to erase an image of his Chicago sculpture known as the Bean from one of its videos, settling his lawsuit against the group.

“We are pleased to declare victory over the N.R.A.,” Mr. Kapoor said in a statement.

His 110-ton stainless steel sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park, titled “Cloud Gate” but more popularly known by its shape, was completed in 2006 and has become a popular tourist attraction, especially because of how it reflects the city’s skyline.

The N.R.A. used a shot of the work in a video last year called “The Violence of Lies.” In it, a spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, delivers a straight-to-camera message excoriating liberals for “using their media to assassinate real news” and teaching children that President Trump “is another Hitler,” among other statements.

A split-second shot of Chicago skyscrapers, with “Cloud Gate” in foreground, appears when Ms. Loesch says, “And then they use their ex-president to endorse the Resistance,” referring to Barack Obama, a longtime resident of the city.

In June, Mr. Kapoor filed suit in Federal District Court in Chicago alleging copyright infringement.

“N.R.A. never asked Plaintiff for permission to use ‘Cloud Gate’ and plaintiff never granted it — and never would have granted it,” his court filing said.

The lawsuit said that Mr. Kapoor had asked the N.R.A. to remove the image of the sculpture, which is owned by the city of Chicago, but that the group had declined. Mr. Kapoor said in the court filing that he had registered “Cloud Gate” with the United States Copyright Office, giving him control over how it is used.

The N.R.A. successfully petitioned to have the case moved to federal court in Alexandria, Va., near its headquarters. It said in court filings that it was allowed to use an image of a public sculpture, and that Mr. Kapoor was trying to “muzzle First Amendment-protected speech just because he apparently disagrees with the message conveyed.”

Lawyers for the N.R.A. did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and Mr. Kapoor’s statement did not say when the image was going to be deleted.

As of Thursday afternoon, the video still featured the image.

Mr. Kapoor, however, took a victory lap, inviting in his statement the N.R.A. to do “the honorable thing” and donate $1 million to gun violence victims.

“They have now complied with our demand to remove the unauthorized image of my sculpture ‘Cloud Gate’ from their abhorrent video ‘The Violence of Lies,’ which seeks to promote fear, hostility and division in American society,” he said in his statement. “Their bullying and intimidation has not succeeded.”



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