Crime

Miami Artist Busted For Stealing When Photographer Spots Copied Images On Sale at Scope UPDATE

Jason Levesque, a Virginia-based artist, was strolling through Scope Art Fair this weekend, thinking about how much he'd love to be exhibiting there, when suddenly he turned a corner to find two of his images on sale. The only problem was, they didn't have his name on them. A Miami-based artist named Josafat Miranda, Levesque quickly realized, had repainted his distinctive work with no credit. What's more, Levesque immediately found several images copied from Marie Killen, another photographer and friend of his. "I was shocked," Levesque tells Riptide.

The artist took to Facebook to call out Miranda's theft, and less than two days later, Miranda has disappeared from the Web amid a flurry of furious comments. His Wynwood gallery has pulled all of his work, cancelled his pending sales and apologized to Levesque.

(Update: Miranda has contacted Riptide, saying the controversy had "damaged his life." "I don't have a gallery. I don't have a job," he says. Click through for his full response.)

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink