Is it Eric Cahan or Hiroshi Sugimoto?

I purchased a piece of Eric Cahan's work called Amagansett Dunes.  The photo is above.  He has a sky series from beaches around the globe.  All beautiful, colorful and serene.  He works out of a shared space in Dumbo where a variety of relatively well known artists work.  Super cool space. 

Ends up that Hermes contacts Eric about his photos for a series of scarves.  Makes sense as he actually has been contacted by more than a handful of retailers before.  He sends them a bunch of jpegs, etc. He never hears back from them.

KdNJiKztp03YOELBlsCVa8yvBixhUsweS3QGIwhkspNDtkzP8F6jnzFJ7fzn1IDzNWFfdg=s94Fast forward he he sees that Hermes launched a series of scarves with supposed work from Hiroshi Sugimoto.  Sugimotos work does not look like Erics nor has he really even used color in his work.  He actually works out of the same space that Eric does.  The photo on the left is a piece of Sugomotos work.

Eric is not going to go after Hermes.  He is not even going to do anything because he can't afford the lengthy legal process but I can certainly write about it.   

430106SI am not saying that these scarves are Erics work but they do look eerily close to it and nothing ike Sugimotos work but I will let you decide.  One of the scarves is on the left. 


Comments (Archived):

  1. Walker

    So did Hermes conspire with Sugimoto or did Sugimoto mislead Hermes? How did Hermes and Sugimoto find each other? I suspect you will hear from Hermes, these sound like serious allegations?

    1. Gotham Gal

      Eric never heard from Hermes again. Who knows what happened

  2. CCjudy

    I have seen Sugimoto’s work at Asian Art Gallery SF and its very different i think than Erics and Sugimoto does not do digital

    1. Gotham Gal


  3. ellen

    As you know in most clothing and jewelry and accessory designs, it is very difficult to trademark a design. Change any minor component and you have no case. If you use a trademark like LV or Tiffany or Hermes illegally that is different. I do remember David Yurman tried to trademark the cable bracelet and he was unable because the design shows up in ancient Egyptian or Greek jewelry.So he could probably sue if he had some kind of contract but if he didn’t I have no idea how he could collect, but I am not a lawyer.

  4. Marjan Ghara

    Thanks for sharing these works. They are stunning. I dont know if you had a chance to read it but I followed the link you sent from Hermes and Sugimoto has written an eloquent essay about how the project came to be. Maybe its a coincidence.

    1. Gotham Gal

      thanks for pointing that out. really interesting.

  5. Cecelia Feld

    Attribution and expropriation in art is always a tricky subject. As an artist I am well aware of both. I read the Project essay by Sugimoto on the Hermes site. He was clear that it was a long term project and discussed the science behind the color photography. He used a Polaroid camera. It sounds like a coincidence that they resemble Eric Cahan’s work. Don’t let it bother you. Enjoy Cahan’s photo.