A few months ago, Rihanna settled out of court with David LaChappelle for an undisclosed sum after the photographer sued her for ripping off some of his work in her "S&M" video. Now, some critics are wondering if the singer will once again face charges of plagiarism after noticing some similarities between her most recent video, "You Da One," and the work of Swedish fashion photographer Sølve Sundsbø.
As the fashion blog Fashionista points out, the photographer's 2008 editorial for Numero magazine — which depicts a model's nude body, bathed in polka-dotted shadows (above right) — bears a striking resemblance to the imagery in Rihanna's "You Da One" video, which features the singer lying on the floor, covered in similarly-shaped shadows (above left). In both the video and the 2008 photo, Rihanna and the model are nude, and they also both sport bowl cuts (which, to me, indicates not so much that Rihanna ripped off Sundsbø, but that they probably just share the same terrible hair stylist, who is clearly receiving inspiration from 1956 Eagle Scouts manuals and back issues of Highlights magazine).
A spokesperson for Rihanna has not yet returned a request for comment, but it's probably safe to assume that like most of these cases, nothing much will come of this, other than the usual debates over the lack of creativity in pop music and the regurgitation of old ideas and why we should just go back to the old days when there was no MTV and everyone was playing Rudy Valentino records on their Victrolas and frankfurters only cost a quarter. Still, Rihanna, it might be a good idea for you to stay away from fashion mags for a little while, and maybe find artistic inspiration from other publications. Like, for instance, Highlights. I'm sure your fan base would dig a Goofus and Gallant-themed vid for "Talk That Talk."