Balloon Boy

Artist Jeff Koons is suing a San Francisco gallery/store named Park Life.  Why?  Koons claims that the balloon-dog themed bookends the store sells violates the intellectual property of the artist’s iconic sculpture “Balloon Dog.”

Jeff Koons is a pop artist known for copying images to create his art.  Kate Taylor of The New York Times: “The artist Jeff Koons has developed a distinctive style, and made a lot of money, by appropriating pop-culture imagery and mass-produced objects, from inflatable toys to vacuum cleaners and kitschy greeting cards.”

This isn’t the first time Mr. Koons has been entangled with copyright issues.  Guy Adams of The Independent: “Koons is, after all, one of the art world’s most famous creative magpies (he has been sued for copyright violation four times, losing three of the cases).”

Why did Koons go after one store instead of the manufacturer of the bookends: imm Living?   Perhaps the manufacturer has more money to hire attorneys but on the other hand the monetary incentive could be much more lucrative for Koons.

Who created the first balloon dog?  I’m waiting for the History Channel to do an investigative series on it.  The first time I saw a balloon dog was at a circus as a child.

Did Mr. Koons get permission from circus clowns to use the imagery?  I hope he’s sending them royalties for each sale.  Circus clowns are here to entertain us and don’t make much money.  That’s the least Mr. Koons can do.

Please don’t make the clowns sad and cry.  Do what’s right.

As of 2/4/11, it appears Mr. Koons has had a change of heart and dropped the lawsuit.  The agreement is that the Park Life Gallery can continue to sell the bookends without Koon’s name.  Something they weren’t doing anyway in the first place…

The links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/arts/design/20suit.html?ref=design

http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/36697/inflated-ego-jeff-koons-claims-exclusive-right-to-sell-balloon-dogs/

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/jeff-koons-bites-back-at-copies-of-balloon-dog-2195544.html

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/04/DDRN1HIDPL.DTL

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