The estate of artist Ana Mendieta has launched a copyright infringement against Amazon in relation to the new Luca Guadagnino film Suspiria.
Mendieta, a Cuban-American artist whose work is widely acclaimed, died in 1985 at the age of 36 following a fall from a New York apartment. Her husband, sculptor Carl Andre, went to trial but was acquitted of murder at the time.
Now, Mendieta’s estate is managed by her sister Raquelín Mendieta alongside Galerie Lelong & Co, New York and Paris. It is Raquelín Mendieta who filed a lawsuit in Seattle against Amazon, alleging that Guadagnino’s horror remake of Susipira borrows too closely from her work in both the trailer and the film itself.
According to the suit, Suspiria takes images from Mendieta’s work ‘Rape Scene’ and ‘Untitled: Silueta Series, Mexico’. In response, Mendieta’s estate is seeking damages along with an order to prevent Amazon from using the images in the film.
After the Suspiria trailer was released in June, Mendieta’s estate sent a cease and desist letter to Amazon a month later. Allegedly, two contentious images were removed from the trailer after the letter. However, eight other images which bore striking similarities to Mendieta’s work still exist within the film itself.
Director Guadagnino has made no secret of his admiration for Mendieta, previously explaining to Deadline that he takes direct inspiration from the “radical feminist art of the 1970s which looked at violence on the female body,” an area in which Mendieta specialised.
Left: A still from new Luca Guadagnino film 'Suspiria'
Right: The work of artist Ana Mendieta – 'Untitled from the Silueta' from the 1970s. pic.twitter.com/oOcSmBbnIn
— Lee Thomas-Mason (@LeeThomasMason) September 28, 2018