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People Are Accusing Snapchat Of Ripping Off An Artist's Portrait For A Filter

Snapchat has apologized, saying the filter was an "embarrassing mistake."

Posted on May 4, 2016, at 2:43 p.m. ET

This is Alexander Khokhlov, a Russian artist and photographer based in Moscow.

Alexander Khokhlov / Via Facebook: khokhlov.alexander

In 2013, he teamed up with makeup artist Valeriya Kutsan to photograph these stunning geometric designs painted on models as part of a project called 2D or not 2D.

Alexander Khokhov

These portraits were featured in a number of outlets, including several art and pop culture magazines. They also were featured at the Dubai International Film Festival, according to the artist's website.

The series was also included in Designcollector's top 10 Russian projects of 2013.

One portrait was featured on the July/August 2014 edition of Scientific American Mind.

Alexander Khokhlov / Via

Recently, fans began to point out online that an image extremely similar to that one has sprung up as a new filter on Snapchat.

@RoxeteraRibbons / Via Twitter: @RoxeteraRibbons

They said the new filter apparently follows the same geometric design and seems to have a nearly identical color pattern to Khokhlov's portrait.

Khokhlov told BuzzFeed News that Snapchat never contacted him about using his work in their new filter, despite the claims of the similarity between the two.

@conz / Via Twitter: @conz

"They never asked me about it," he said.

But people quickly began to tweet that they made a connection between Snapchat's new filter and Khokhlov's work.

@itsfernxnda / Via Twitter: @itsfernxnda

"#Snapchat, It would be great if you could give credit to Alexander Khokhlov (photo) Valeriya Kutsan (face art)," said one person in a tweet in Spanish.

@vivianatorero / Via Twitter: @vivianatorero

Some other people also claimed that Snapchat had taken their work for the filter. But people said that the filter most resembles Khokhlov's portrait.

@fofacy / Via Twitter: @KarlyThibault

Snapchat told BuzzFeed News in a statement that the filter does appear to resemble other artistic work.

@tattedpoc / Via Twitter: @KarlyThibault

"We agree that this lens is similar to other artists' creations and we have removed it," said a Snapchat spokesperson. "We are sorry for this embarrassing mistake and we are taking action to make sure it won't happen again."

It is unclear whether Khokhlov will pursue any legal action against the company.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.