Playboy, November 2003
Forum Feature Article, illustration

Illegal Art
Be careful with the wacky trademark art. The Man may not like it.

Perhaps there is a corporation somewhere that appreciates art inspired by and containing bits of its trademarks. But Carrie McLaren hasn't discovered it. Concerned that companies are using intellectual property laws to stifle free speech, the editor of Stay Free! magazine organized an exhibit called "Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age" (the headline above uses an alphabet, created from product packaging, by Heidi Cody). The exhibit, which includes music and videos, runs October 3 to November 2 at the Nexus Gallery in Philadelphia. It can also be seen online at These days, prudent pop, collage and hip-hop artists consult with lawyers before sharing their work. Even the threat of a lawsuit can keep art out of view.