This article originally appeared on VICE Australia
Sydney street artist Scott Marsh experienced unexpected viral fame earlier this month when his mural of Kanye West making out with himself hit Reddit. The delicate and sensual portrait is painted on the wall of a wine and cheese shop in the quiet northwest suburb of Chippendale, and takes inspiration from a beloved 2015 meme.
It's difficult to picture anyone responding to such a well-executed piece of Kanye West fan art in a negative way, but Marsh has been inundated with hate mail since. "It's pretty funny," he told VICE. "People saying how dare you try and extort Kanye. You know, not very intelligent people, who maybe can't see that it's meant to be a lighthearted joke."
Some of the hate mail claimed to come from the management of Mr. West himself.
"I got an email the day after a picture of the mural went up on Reddit, from someone claiming to be his management offering me money to paint over it," he said.
"I'm not exactly sure if it was them or if it was a stitch up because they never got back to me, and the email address wasn't email@example.com or anything. They offered me five figures to paint over it."
Marsh responded as anyone would—he tried to up the price, and get some free shoes. "I just took the piss out of it because I thought it was a bit of a gee up. So I asked for six figures and a lifetime supply of Yeezys."
Perhaps taken aback by Marsh's request, whoever sent the initial email hasn't responded.
Marsh is now selling a limited edition print of the Kanye Loves Kanye artwork, where the two canoodling Wests have been painted over in white. The asking price is $100,000, and if Kanye or his management purchase it within a two week deadline, Marsh will paint over the original mural.
"Painting over my work is not something I'd usually do," he says, "but it was kind of a fun idea to go with the print release, and $100,000 is a lot of money to me."
"If Kanye called me up and was angry about it, I'd just have a chat to him. I've been a huge fan and think he's a super talented dude. If he doesn't like it, well—I'd hope that he does, and I'd hope he could at least see the funny side."
"If he truly loves himself the way everyone says he does, he'd have to like it, wouldn't he?"
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