Friday, July 4, 2008

Wyland and his plates-gimee my money!

We blogged about this sad event last week. In terms of poor public relations "the artiste" Wyland dropped a media art bomb on California with all the expected results.

Now others in the blog world and even the LA Times has responded with a pithy Op-Ed skewering the artist in a way that only the LA Times can.

Here's a short outtake:

Wyland has his own nonprofit foundation and wanted 20% of the state's profits from his plates -- about $700,000 a year -- donated to it. He worked out a similar deal, for 10%, with Florida, but for California, this is a load of blubber. The Wyland plates have been prettifying cars for years, but the state Department of Motor Vehicles isn't a marketing tool for any individual's ventures, for profit or not. No commissions in return for the use of intellectual property.

"The whale tail is my art and my idea," Wyland spouted off to The Times. "I'm sticking up for artists' rights, for the common person."

Not that common people generally travel the world painting gigantic cetacean murals, but we get the concept. Wyland's donation of the license plate design, however temporary, was a terrific gift -- for the state, its drivers and for him. He's had thousands of free mini-billboards all over the freeways this last decade.

Editors note: Perhaps Wyland should invest in a few "Oompah Loopahs" to help him haul around that massive ego of his.


Jonathan said...

I just mailed my plates to the artist in protest today. Thanks for the update.

steve creech said...

I'm the project director for the wyland foundation and - while I won't go into any issues about journalistic integrity - i will say the AP article about the license plate issue did not cover the entire story. Our staff has been building this foundation for years and has done tremendous work for children's environmental education. Please see our initiatives at - and if anyone would like to contact me personally with questions, please call me at 949 643-7070. I would be happy to walk you through you our programs - and answer any questions about our requests for grant funding from the california coastal commission whale tail plate program.
Steve Creech