Artist Served With Cease and Desist Order Over Nike Branded Handguns
The issue is too controversial for the sportswear giant.
A British artist’s interpretation of Nike’s classic AirMax sneaker landed him in a legal tangle with the American sportswear giant after he reimagined the branded shoe as handgun.
In an interview with the athletic footwear trade magazine Sneaker Freaker, Phil Robson, who also goes by the name of Filfury, revealed that Nike slapped him with a cease and desist order for the design.
“Its banned. Cease and desist,” he said, adding however that the incident has led “to official collaborations with Nike Basketball. Funny old world it is.”
According to Complex Magazine, the Nike-branded handguns bore the company’s iconic “tick” logo and recognizable features from their Nike Air Max 90 “Infrared” and Air Classic BW “Persian” shoes, which was a bit too controversial for the multinational corporation.
Gun control is a highly contentious issue which both pro Second Amendment and gun control campaigners feel very strongly about. Clearly it’s a debate which the shoe manufacturer would prefer not to be associated with.
Nike already suffered an embarrassing gun-related PR gaffe after it failed to take down advertising billboards featuring the South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius after the athlete was accused of shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.
The ad declared “I am the bullet in the chamber,” alongside a photo of Pistorius in full sprint. The athlete was later found guilty of culpable homicide and reckless endangerment and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Other artists found themselves in hot water after showing gun-related art works. Swiss Police launched an investigation after Khaled Jarrar shot a handgun as performance at a Geneva gallery, and US law enforcement wanted to destroy artwork made from decommissioned weapons by the Mozambican artist Gonçalo Mabunda.
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