Spanish Painter Whose Artwork is Being Displayed at Guggenheim Bilbao Admits to Ripping Off Black Artist dayday

Screenshot from “Blue” by dayday; Gala Knörr/Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Spanish artist Gala Knörr was eager to announce the news. Her Young Cowboy paintings would be on display at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao from July 8 until September 13.

“Guys, been playing it cool, but this is a big deal for me, specially [sic] with this project,” Knörr wrote in an Instagram post.

The images were striking, with its rough finishings and the bold contrast of a young Black cowboy unflinchingly staring at the viewer while set against a stark landscape. Another showed the cowboy’s back as he stared out over a green plain, his white shirt matching the strings wrapped around the hat’s band.

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Knörr said she was inspired by the image of Black horsewoman Brianna Noble who protested the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020 from the seat of her saddle.

But just days after the exhibit opened, Knörr admitted to Rolling Stone that she made “a mistake” in failing to credit a more direct inspiration — Black Brooklyn-based artist dayday, whose work in Hulu’s Your Attention Please is nearly identical to her paintings that now hang on the walls of the Guggenheim Bilbao.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, the museum confirmed that Knörr did not adequately credit the original work and had come to the “reparative solution” to have dayday’s work displayed alongside Knörr’s paintings. (Through a representative, dayday declined to comment further.)

“The film Blue by dayday will be exhibited along with an artist statement, marking the visible source of inspiration for Knörr,” the museum said in a statement. “By tangibly linking the works together, we can begin to reflect on the dual erasure of the cowboys of the Basque country and African-American cowboys in the United States from history.”

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SOURCE: Rolling Stone, Cheyenne Roundtree

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