In 2020, four men who became viral as memes were transformed into statues. However, the artist who spent 57 hours creating it claims that as a result, he has come under derision and criticism.

In 2020, a group of British males known as “Four Lads in Jeans” went ubiquitous online. At a celebration in Birmingham in August, the men were recognized with a statue created in their likeness. The statue’s creator claimed he had to deal with online jeers from people who claimed it was a “waste” of money. Morning Brew is read by more than 3 million people; you should too! A British artist who created a statue honoring a meme that went viral in 2020 claimed he had to defend himself against detractors who thought a “internet joke” couldn’t serve as the inspiration for respectable art.

The statue was created by William Douglas, 34, over the course of 57 hours, and it was unveiled on August 27 during the Birmingham Weekender arts festival in the West Midlands of the UK. Douglas, a local artist who works full-time, received financial support from the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust to construct a piece of art that would be on show for the duration of the two-day event.

Douglas told Insider that he was “obsessed” with the viral meme when it first appeared and that because the men in the meme were from Birmingham and the neighboring city of Coventry, he thought it would be appropriate to create his artwork as a respect to them and to the local community.

Four Lads In Jeans (@fourladsinjeans) shared a post.

The meme first appeared in 2020, and as a result, the four men experienced online harassment. Connor Jordan Humpage (@cj humps tattoos) uploaded a blog entry.

The “Four Lads in Jeans” meme started with an Instagram post posted in June 2019 by a user by the name of Connor Jordan Humpage. The picture had the caption, “Tight pants selected us,” and it featured Humpage and three of his mates, Kevin Rooney, Alex Lacey, and Jamie Phillips, standing outside of a bar.

The image was then screenshotted and shared to an unidentified Facebook meme page, claims the website Know Your Meme . This post was not found by Insider.

The picture was circulated often on social media during the year 2020, with many commenters finding it amusing since they thought the men resembled traditional British “lads.” Users would generally upload the photograph to Twitter along with a caption that they believed a British “lad” would say, such as an defense of Winston Churchill or an commentary on British boxers. .

The males in the picture said in a January 2021 interview with talk show Good Morning Britain that they and their family members had endured constant mocking from online trolls as a result of the image’s virality.

Jhill 90 Josh Hill January 16, 2021 The men were featured on Good Morning Britain once again when they visited the artwork, and the presentation of Douglas’ statue—made of layers of paper mch piled on top of fashion mannequins—has sparked a fresh wave of interest in them.

“We’re thrilled to have a statue of our own in Birmingham. The journey from a night out to being remembered in paper is amazing. We are grateful “In a statement to Insider, the men wrote.

The statue’s creator acknowledged receiving online satire for his work.

him and Birmingham Weekender 0 Birmingham Weekender 1 news organizations released pictures of his work on social media.

Others critiqued the statue’s appearance, while some indicated that the finished statue was not worth the grant Douglas received.

“I’m hoping it wasn’t expensive. I would request a refund if it did,” one Birmingham Weekender 2 said under a BirminghamLive news outlet Facebook post about the statue. Other comments under the same article included the phrases “What a waste of money it looks horrible” and “What an eyesore, the biggest piece of rubbish I have ever seen!!”

Douglas told Insider that he was discouraged by some of these remarks because he believed they showed that many people did not appreciate the significance of drawing inspiration from a meme for a work of art.

Douglas disagrees, saying that memes can serve as inspiration for creativity and even stand alone as works of art in their own right.

“Memes and art have a connection to one another. Similar to how people might engage in conversation while seeing art, playing with photographs and sharing them sparks a dialogue “He spoke to Insider.