Seriously, You Guys, Stop Stealing Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dogs, Okay?

01/20/2011 1:33 PM |

Stop breaking the law, adorable balloon dog pendent!
  • Stop breaking the law, adorable balloon dog pendent!

As we learned earlier this month, Jeff Koons invented the balloon dog, and therefore has exclusive rights to any merchandise or art object that bares its likeness, an indisputable fact that he’s more than willing to hash out in court. After sending a cease-and-desist letter to the shop and gallery selling balloon dog bookends, ArtsBeat reports that Koons is going after the Toronto-based company that manufactured the book-bracing forgeries.

Park Life, the San Francisco-based store and gallery that received the first cease-and-desist letter back in December, has continued to sell the bookends, albeit no longer through the gallery’s website. Faced with such defiance in the ongoing sale of the $30 bookends, Koons—who has been sued four times for copyright infringement, and maintains a studio in Chelsea with a staff of 120, and lives in the second-largest single-family home in Manhattan—is suing Toronto-based company Imm-Living, which manufactures the illegal fake art objects.

Lawyers consulting with Park Life and Imm-Living’s lawyers both consider the case absurd. Rod Bynes, a lawyer for the latter, told ArtsBeat: “We’re more than willing to vigorously defend this. We think they’re totally wrong.” In the meantime, Koons is drafting his next cease-and-desist, this one for the International Balloon Association, which, it turns out, has been supplying makers of counterfeit balloon dogs with materials and representation for decades.

4 Comment

  • I was making balloon dogs in 1978 professionally and The balloon dog that Jeff Koons copied was originally published and copyrighted by Jim Davis in the 1950s or 60s. I don’t mind Jeff Koons USING the design, but it is rather like copywrighting the paper airplane or the Arabic numerical system.

  • Jeff Koons is a hack. First of all, he doesn’t *make* anything. All Jeff Koons contributes to these “works” is the idea, e.g., a pink dog-shaped balloon made out of stainless steel. He then hires people with the requisite technical skill to actually build it. Look it up for yourself – Jeff Koons contributes nothing to the actual manufacture of these sculptures.

  • I have been making balloon dogs and animals since 1992 and I have books and articles from the 50’s and 60’s describing how to make them. Mr. Koons can in no way accurately claim to have created the balloon dog.

  • It’s sad and apparent that the comments on this page where made by people who know nothing about art or the world of fine art. Of course Jeff Koons did not invent the balloon dog, but he did raise it to a level of fine art and made it one of the most famous forms recognized by art lovers world wide. It’s also apparent that the balloon dogs manufactured and sold by these people are a direct capitalization on the success of Jeff Koons’ art. Why didn’t they make balloon rabbits or giraffes? The only clowns here are Park Life and imm Living.