Sunday, January 23, 2011


Yes, it's true!  Our favorite hound dog artist, Jeff Koons, has filed suit against a maker and retailer of balloon dog book end makers, accusing these folks of ripping off his famous reflective steel million dollar icon, which the artist borrowed permanently from the public domain. Koons has made a living off the public domain, and at times appropriating other artists' works. (He's lost three of four copyright cases). 

The bookends sell for $30.  Koons, who makes similarly sized (10 1/2 inches) balloon dogs for up tot $12,500.  We're sure there's lots of confusion out there in the retail marketplace as to what's a Koons and what's a copy of...well, a balloon dog.

Koons is seeking to prevent Imm-Living, a Toronto company, from manufacturing the dogs (image, right), and Park Life, a San Francisco gallery, from selling them.  Meanwhile, balloon dogs proliferate everywhere as key rings, designs on shirts and of course at kiddie parties.  Bring in the clowns.

Read the full enchilada and wonky legal analysis at The New York Times.

Above: Librado Romero/The New York Times:  A 10-foot-tall version of Jeff Koons's "Balloon Dog" sculpture on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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