Yo Dog, That’s My Balloon !
No Jeff Koons can not copyright his signature balloon dogs and according to The Bay Citizen : Today, balloon dogs everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief: SF’s Park Life store/gallery announced that artist Jeff Koons has dropped legal action against the sale of its balloon dog-shaped bookends. More after the jump…..
In a story that migrated from The Bay Citizen to the New York Times, eventually reaching the San Francisco Chronicle, the NY-based artist, famous for his appropriation of pop culture, was roundly mocked for sending a cease-and-desist to the Richmond District store and the Toronto manufacturer of the bookends.
“Jeff Koons and I signed the papers today, it’s legally done,” said Park Life co-owner Jamie Alexander. “We can sell the balloon dog bookends. The only thing that they wanted to concede is that we couldn’t advertise them as being related to Jeff Koons, which we never did.”
Alexander noted that the store did not agree to a confidentiality agreement about their resolution, which was important to him, as he and lawyer Jed Wakefield saw this as a win for underdogs. “This is a victory for the little guy standing up to a bully. Also, it’s about the absurdity of the art world,” said Alexander.
“It’s an entertaining case but also important,” said Wakefield, “for a small business to stand up and not be intimidated when a big law firm sends a scary letter.”
As SFist has noted, the publicity has only inflated the sale of the bookends. When The Bay Citizen first talked to Alexander, he guessed that about three balloon dog items had sold before Christmas. Now, he estimated that they’ve gone through around 150. Woof!