The actress-artist is Jemima Kirke (of the HBO show "Girls"). The article is in the NYT.
From the comments (links added):
First Shia Labeouf tries to pass off the work of Dan Clowes as his own. Now Jemima Kirke is ever-so-earnestly describing how the friends she painted deeply inspired her "art" rather than the Alice Neel coffee table books she clearly cherishes and studies. There is something fundamentally wrong with this Napster generation. Just because you can play a passable cover of "Needle in the Hay" does not mean you ARE Elliott Smith or that you actually WROTE the song. Ms. Kirke's attempt to pass off her work as anything other than homage is reminiscent of a classic headline from The Onion: "Judge Awards Heather Mills Writing Credit On Eleanor Rigby."Many commenters carp about the similarity to the work of Alice Neel and some attack the Times for failing even to mention Neel. For contrast, when the NYT wrote about that painting George Bush did of himself in the bathtub, it did not fail to cite Pierre Bonnard — "Pierre Bonnard’s strangely chaste, luminous paintings of his wife reclining in a bathtub."
How do you feel about celebrity artists getting attention when lesser-known, better artists are ignored? Is it okay as long as any artists they steal from also get the press? Is it okay as long are there's no different treatment based on the politics of the celebrity artists? Or is it just all about the clicks and nothing here really matters?