Jeff Koons: master of lampoon or enormous American conman?

The Koons mystery increases as another attack of plagiarism has been hurled at the master. But the latest contends are truly shocking

Jeff Koons has been accused of plagiarism. Again.

Photographer Mitchel Gray has filed individual complaints in a New York tribunal that Koons simulated, practically unchanged and in its entirety, an advertising image “hes taking” in the 1980 s for Gordons Gin. Gray said he only recently discovered what he alleges is the uncredited and unauthorised employment of his original work in Koons 1986 handiwork I Could Go for Something Gordons.( Koons has not supported a comment .)

This is just the latest in a advance of multimillion suits against Koons by photographers who claim he plagiarizes their work in the 80 s. The ad designer Franck Davidovici launched legal action in France at the start of this year over Koons 1988 production Fait dHiver a figure of Ilona Staller, a penguin and a boar. According to Davidovici, it is blatantly is coming from an advert he created for the style companionship Naf Naf that likewise boasted a simulate and a pig.

Yet Davidovici and Gray are latecomers to the game of suing Koons. They are way behind Art Rogers, who successfully sued Mr Koons in 1992 for plagiarising a shot hed taken of a pair impounding cute puppies. Koons claimed that he had parodied Grays photograph in his polychrome timber sculpture String of Puppies.

Koons lost which may was a precedent that helps his new accusers.

Jeff Koons alongside one of his works of art. Image: Richard Saker for the Observer

Since then, he has become richer his art more expensive and the amount claimed against him are blossoming like bogus blooms.

People tend to be polarised about accusations levelled at Koons. If you like him, they are able to “re saying that” appropriation is a recognised strategy of contemporary art and was at its height where reference is created these contentious studies. If you loathe him as many serious art love do you can say it all goes to show he is a talentless defraud who plagiarizes meanings then offer craftsmen to implement them: the creator as snake-oil salesman, a great American confidence man.

I like Koons, and used to describe the works he has been sued over reaches me laugh. Pigs appear in more than one slouse by him: the objective is emblems of what he calls cliche. All the works by other artists he has been accused of plagiarizing can be considered as savage satires on the kitsch emptiness of modern culture. I feel his lampoon excuse has some true to it.

But I am genuinely shocked by the latest contends. The real defence of Koons, and other masters who suitable, is of freedom of curiosity. Koons seems to have an inventive image of modern life as a banal funfair of kitsch portraits and libidoes. Its a potent picture of our time.

Or is it? If his animals are pinched, where does his original eyesight lie? Are any of his images original, or will they all one day be attributed to a legion of photographers and ad inventives?

The mystery of Jeff Koons deepens. In his novel The Map and the Territory, the perceptive Michel Houellebecq dreams an artist trying to depict Koons. He cant get him right this odd attribute is very plastic and impassable. A delight to speak to, Koons is as elusive as an completed politician. Perhaps he is just a manic salesman with good-for-nothing to sell. And hitherto, a nature in which Donald Trump is pitching for the US presidency is surely one in which banality and kitsch certainly are as potent as Koons represents them.

Read more: www.theguardian.com


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