You Ain’t Got to Lie CRAIG!

craig-fancy-dress-upIf you are not already aware of the signs posted by “CRAIG” of Windsor, Australia, this picture alone will probably be enough to pull your attention in.  If you are familiar with these signs, please DON’T GO ANYWHERE! There are some important updates and info that you should definitely know about.  Sorry, CRAIG worshipers and fan club members, this “renegade” and “artist” is what is commonly referred to as “a biter” here in the states.

Last month, signs like the one to left began gaining popularity after they were masking taped to poles and other public surfaces around the Melbourne suburb.  The signs, which became increasingly awkward, had locals questioning their legitimacy and helped the anonymous poster’s popularity blow up like the World Trade.  Sites like FunnyorDie.com blogged about the “artist” and even Time Magazine recognized the phenomenon.  Facebook fan pages sprouted up as quickly as the signs themselves and have already grown thousands strong.  This shit is spreading like AIDS fire and there still appears to be no end to the growth in popularity.

Hopefully, with the latest revelations, the excitement will die down a bit.  There have been endless acknowledgments, articles, and comments referring to how “original” and “creativeCraig seems to be.  I’ve read them and thought the postings were a great idea myself… at first.  Hell, I still feel that they are, but I’m just not that impressed with the Aussie who has garnered so much recognition for them.  The internet is an amazing source for content and information, yet people still abandon research and cross-referencing for immediate and instantaneous gratification.  Even, so-called “legitimate” news sources often take the latter approach.  I, on the other hand, felt prompted to delve deeper and, within 20 minutes, realized that CRAIG had stolen this concept from the beginning by taking a huge bite out of the big apple and the work of New York artist/writer Todd Lamb.  Why more have not chosen to promote this information with an equal number of posts, is beyond me.


The Evidence

(Please don’t ask what Banana Big M’s are; this is from Australia)

craig-matress

Posted @ a subway stop in NY by Todd Lamb, last year

todd-lamb-chris-mattress

Obviously, the similarities are a little more than suspicious.  Here are more examples
:
(Top photos from last month, bottom versions are originals from last year)

craig-sweat-band

todd-chris-dropped-glove

craig-train-problems

chris-todd-lamb-bus-stop

An Australian paper called The Age originally ran a piece on CRAIG and the street art.  Later, after finding out about the true origins of the work and speaking with Todd Lamb directly, they posted follow up piece in their Diary section to clear the air.  Of course, not as many people were as interested or willing to spread this lesser exciting information.

Lamb was quoted as stating the following to the paper:

Craig is an unoriginal person who plagiarises people’s art and writing.

The New York artist also managed to track the plagiarist down, via online means, and received an email containing the following quote:

Hi Todd, indeed the idea for it did come from your web link. I loved them and decided to expand on it. I didn’t realise that it was actually you since the name on the signs was Chris and your name is Todd, otherwise I would have asked permission. Sorry for offending you.

Indeed, he did take it further and brought enjoyment to thousands.  However, I still feel there is great importance in making sure that the real artist gains the recognition that he deserves.  Regardless of if you enjoyed these pieces, or the 8 others from CRAIG (provided in gallery below), they are still extremely derivative by nature and origin.  Todd Lamb posted his signs in New York and were, no doubt, somewhat lost among endless other works and exhibitions in the bustling city.  Hopefully, if anything, the situation will help to encourage those in less prominent cities to take their art to the streets with the realization that some level of acknowledgement and success could still be attained, without having to relocate to a larger metropolis.  The postings further display alternate means of utilizing and presenting street art.  At this point, it is more original than most of the standard graffiti on the streets and less invasive or threatening (aka: more widely accepted by the community) than works by artists like Ron English or Mark Jenkins.

Sorry, about your fallen god but “No Virginia, ther isn’t a Santa CRAIG!”  The good news is that Todd Lamb is, by no stretch, a one note (pun intended).  By knowing who the original mastermind is, all you CRAIG fans can turn to checking out his work and know that he will have more up his sleeve to offer in the future.

Mr. Todd Lamb created this video for the Monkeybacon song “Trouble at Party Time Lake

Most recently (March 20th), while the CRAIG hype was really gaining ground, Todd Lamb appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to attempt to break the record for sitting on the most Whoopee Cushions in 30 seconds without cracking a smile (results are still pending).

-Dead C

Peep these hype Todd Lamb related links:

Watch the Jimmy Fallon footage
Todd‘s website
His book “Yo, Check the Perm
Todd Lamb on Myspace

(click photos to enlarge)

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it’s hard to recall all of the details.

I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn’t actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room… but it wasn’t actually here… it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle.

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  • Kb smooth

    I watch late night with jimmy fallon all the time with out breaking a smile. That show is so bad.

  • Belinda

    ‘Big M’ is the name of a company who makes milk drinks in cartons. You can get them in strawberry, coffee, banana, chocolate flavours etc.
    Also you need to learn how to spell the name of a country before you write about it.
    ‘Austraila, this picture alone will’
    ‘this is from Austrailia’
    AUSTRALIA only has one ‘i’.

    I just thought I would clear that up.

  • Thanks for clearing up what Big Ms are. Honestly. As far as the two spots where I misspelled the name of your country, I am admittedly guilty of something worse than not knowing how to spell it. I am guilty of being neglectful and not caring enough to recheck it after typing through quickly, which can be kind of fucked up for people that actually live there. Something about that damn place, I guess… It’s automatic with me to add that extra “I” every time. The word “receive” is another one. I know how to spell it but my fingers don’t want to.

    I’ll probably do it again if I ever mention Australia in an article, so watch for it and make sure to comment on its spelling error in a condescending manner again, rather than referring to the primary subject matter within the articles themselves.

  • baddspllla

    man id like to meet this Craig fella, hes god a funny scence of humor. lol

  • did you even read this post?

  • Jess

    Craig put up a lot more signs than Chris, and his other ones are a lot funnier than the originals. Seeing as Craig remained basically anonymous, he isn’t really taking credit, and people enjoyed it just as much as if it was original or not. Unbunch you panties and find something else to do than wasting your time getting upset over an Aussie doing something better than an American.

  • I can’t believe that I never responded to this shitty comment. First off, you’re obviously from Australia and, for some reason, are trying to defend this douche bag. Most of the praise that “CRAIG” has received pertains to claims of “originality” but he’s not original in the slightest. It’s like saying that Canadian football is original and better because they added an extra guy on the field and adjusted the yardage.

    There are 2 kinds of people. People who are offended by this type of shit because they have been ripped off in the past and the rest of you. I say “Imitation is the sincerest form of theft and laziness” and I think that it’s a mistake to encourage this type of shit and to promote those actions as positive.

  • Jimmy

    Thanks for your article, i was sent ‘craigs’ posters on email and googled them, finding this page. Anything that can make people laugh is brilliant, and i’m also a fan of making people scratch their heads over something unexpected and out of the norm.

    You may not agree with what i will be doing tomorrow, but i am using the same ideas (and a few new ones) and posting them around a music festival i am going too. Knowing people will get a giggle out of them is my goal, and i’ve even put a phone number to a voice mail and am hoping to get some funny replies.

    Imitation can also be the highest form of flattery. This is my intention as well as spreading humour.

    Jimmy
    Adelaide, Australia

  • You’re right, I actually don’t agree with what you’re doing, because I’ve specifically talked to the originator, Todd Lamb, about this whole situation and he did not find it flattering in at all. You know this, so being “flattering” is definitely not your intention. Inspiring others to come up with new ideas is flattering. It’s not called inspiration when you take their ideas and pass them off as your own, it’s called stealing.

    I appreciate you stopping by the site and reading the article, but I don’t understand why you don’t just email Todd about continuing his project elsewhere. He wasn’t a difficult person for me to get a hold of, it just seems as though nobody else feels it necessary to even try to contact him. Even the guy who posted the “CRAIG” signs claims that he would have tried to contact him had he known. After being fully aware of the back-story and Lamb’s feelings about the entire situation, you can’t very well use the case that you are just being “flattering”. Instead, you’re just blatantly ignoring the truth in an attempt to come off as “clever” or “creative” on some level while, in reality, offending the creator and being derivative.

    People know of the signs and, by this point, I’m afraid that you are likely going to come across as nothing more than a knock off of a knock off. People also enjoy meeting celebrities. Maybe you should impersonate one and sign autographs. It doesn’t really do much to alter the reality of the situation. Truth is truth. Rationalization is an attempt to ignore truth. The comment boxes aren’t confessionals. I’m not the one that you should be contacting about this.