Just when you think artist/charlatan Jeff Koons reaches the nadir of respectability/believability, he digs just a little deeper. As an early Christmas gift, Koons instructed his lawyers to issue a “cease and desist” letter to Park Life Gallery in San Francisco. Koons insisted that they discontinue selling “balloon dog” bookends (the offenders appear above) because he “owned” the idea of balloon dogs as art thanks to his earlier enlarged metallic balloon dog sculptures. Yes, balloon dogs—standard repertoire of children’s party magicians and core curriculum of clown colleges everywhere—are now the intellectual property of Jeff Koons, or at least he claims. Koons takes fine arf, er, art to an absurd extreme and threatens finally to burst the massive hot air balloon of his own, overgrown ego.
[Many thanks to Roy, my Left Coast source for art news, for bringing this story to my attention.]