Update: That Taylor Swift mural is now a Kanye West mural. The artwork has been updated — yet again — to Ye with Tay's hair.
Update, July 22, 2016: Taylor Swift's rep has reached out to R29 to clarify that Swift is not suing the artist behind the controversial mural titled "In Loving Memory Of Taylor Smith." Apparently, the artist was joking about receiving a legal letter.
This story was originally published on July 20 at 12:35 p.m.
I don't really care if the media is "turning" on Taylor Swift. And I certainly don't think she needs to be protected from commenters spamming her Instagram posts with snake emojis. Personally, I think she's a liar. But this new attack on Swift following her fallout with Kimye is a little dark, even for my taste. An Australian artist has created a giant memorial to the pop singer, days after Kim Kardashian Snapchatted pieces of the that Swift alleged never happened.
The Melbourne street artist behind the morbid mural, who goes by the alias lushsux, told BuzzFeed that the public art was fitting, what with "Taylor being dead on the internet and all." I get that this is probably intended to be provocative pop culture commentary. But this feels like it crosses the line. Joking that Kimye "slayed" Swift, or saying that this story "killed" the singer's image is one thing. Literally creating a public space declaring her deceased and encouraging people to come mourn her? Come on, that's a little gross.
Though the likeness is uncanny, you'll notice the painting actually says, "In Loving Memory of Taylor Smith" — not Swift. Presumably, this is an attempt to evade legal action by Swift's people. On Wednesday morning, the artist posted on Instagram writing, "Taylor Swift's attorney has emailed me with a threat of legal action if I do not remove my wall related to her" — a claim R29 cannot verify. In another post, the artist joked (or not), "Anyone know a good lawyer?" The mural is the most public statement the artist has made about the pop star, but not the only one.
Interestingly, this isn't lushsux's first foray into Kimye territory, either. If the style looks familiar, that's because the artist's polarizing murals depicting Kim Kardashian's nude selfies made the rounds back in March. One of those was vandalized shortly after it went up. I won't be surprised if the same happens to the "Taylor Smith" memorial.