LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas artist has accused pop star Ariana Grande of using imagery from his paintings, without his permission, in the singer's "God is a Woman" music video.
Artist Vladimir Kush filed a federal lawsuit for copyright infringement in Nevada on Thursday, according to court records. In the lawsuit, Kush asserts Grande's imagery in her music video was "nearly identical" to his paintings and the minor difference Grande used "does not change the viewers' impression."
The scene in Grande's music video that Kush has claimed copyright for depicts the singer as a candle wick while a bright flame surrounds her. Light from the candle flame radiates out against a blue, cloudy sky. The scene appears a little over a minute into the music video.
Both of Kush's paintings, "The Candle" and "The Candle 2," portray a woman's silhouette as the wick of a large candle. Kush obtained copyright for both paintings in 1999 and 2000, respectively, according to the lawsuit.
"While there are many ways to depict a woman dancing in the wick of a candle – even with a heavenly background – Defendants clearly copied Mr. Kush’s expression of this idea," the lawsuit said.
In the lawsuit, Kush claims he was never asked about the use of his work in Grande's music video. He said he learned about the video after reading an article online that discussed the music video's religious imagery in various scenes.
Kush's attorneys said in the lawsuit the video director and production team for "God is a Woman" have faced at least two previous copyright infringement lawsuits from other artists. The lawsuit has asked that Grande remove the video from the Internet. Kush was also seeking damages and attorney's fees.
No lawyers for Grande were listed in the lawsuit.
Kush owns two art galleries in Las Vegas at the Forum and Miracle Mile shops on the Strip. The company that manages his business, Kush Fine Arts Las Vegas, were also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.