While doing my masters in Design I was told that everything in terms of creation has already been done and it is just a question of reinterpretation. Interestingly enough, an article in the French newspaper Le Monde has published that Jeff Koons and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris have both been fined by the French Court a total of 44 000 euros for counterfeiting. The work which is involved is the porcelain sculpture Jeff Koons called “Naked” which previously sold for $8 million dollars in 2008. The porcelain piece represents two naked children with the boy offering a flower to the girl. For the French Tribunal the work is a counterfeit of a 1975 photograph taken by Jean Francois Bauret which was sold as postcards. When you look closely the haircuts and parts of the pose of the kids are identical, but the reinterpretation is quite obvious (see picture below). Unfortunately for Koons, the judges found that the variations made by Koons weren’t enough, and that one could identify the models and the pose of Bauret’s work, both being essential elements that were protected intellectual property. Only 24,000 euros were charged to Koons, which s is merely small change for the Artist whose artworks fetch millions eg: The balloon dog sculpture which reached around $55 million at auction.
Did you know: Jeff Koons worked as a Wall Street commodities broker before his work took off.