New York artist says Black Keys stole her ideas

Are the Black Keys idea thieves?
  • Are the Black Keys idea thieves?

Wronged artist or publicity hound? It’s always hard to tell in cases like these. But a New York-based performance artist/model/filmmaker who calls herself Bon Jane (real name: Rachel Brennecke) is claiming that she submitted a video treatment to Akron’s Black Keys last year which she says they really, really liked, but didn’t have the budget to produce. Now she’s saying that the video they made later that year for the song “Howlin’ for You” — which was nominated for Best Rock Video of the Year in the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards — is basically her idea, which she describes as “Tarantino/Lynch style Western,” featuring a femme fatale in bodices and feathered eyelashes going around killing men.

She wrote a letter challenging Black Keys Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney to a public discussion on the issues. So far, they haven’t responded.

So she’s fired off another salvo. According to her press release,

Bon Jane is releasing a short documentary on the subject of
appropriation and ethical collaboration within the arts, featuring interviews by
Gilles Bensimon, Mark Seliger, Derek Trucks, and other artists/directors, as
well as legal opinions on the subject of copyright and intellectual property.
The short film will be released on YouTube and varied digital platforms at 7 p.m.
on December 16th 2011.
It might be easier to take her claims seriously if the “art project” most prominently featured on her blog didn’t involve lots of polaroids of the attractive artist in her underwear flashing her breasts and striking soft porn poses or her website didn't feature a naked photo of her astride a white horse. Seems to us someone wants attention. — Anastasia Pantsios

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