You might have heard of DOLK - one of the new breed of new breed stencil artists riding on the coat tails of Banksy et al. Whilst I quite like some of DOLKs ideas, I have a real problem with biting ideas straight up and claiming them as your own (no matter how good the execution). I'm not necessarily saying that's what he's done - but I'm not saying he hasn't either.
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery... but where do you draw the line between flattery and plagiary?
I can't say exactly which came first (but I think it was the work by Eelus - anyone who cares to share production dates?) - so maybe it's just a game of chicken or the egg. You have to admit though that some of these themes and even colours are pretty iffy. Although the 2 below are not exactly the same theme, the colours teamed with other work by the artists makes you wonder...
Below: WHATYOUOOKIN-AT by Eelus
Below: Puppy Love by DOLK
Below: SHAT-AT by EElus
Below: Pappa by DOLK
Some more similar themes...
DOLK: (Grenade Lovers)
There are heaps more... you get the idea though.
Which again begs the question: when does flattery become plagiary?
Arguably, Banksy took, for want of a better term, a great deal of inspiration from Blek le Rat. And I suppose biting in one form or another is the street art way. Someone forgettable once said "There are no original ideas in this world, only ideas to be evolved"... and perhaps that's true.