Jeff Koons vs. Andrea Blanch
Jeff Koons wins the copyright lawsuit for “fair use” against Andrea Blanch even after he famously lost the 1988 “String of Puppies” copyright infringement against Art Rogers. Once again the artist is being accused of copying part of a photograph taken by Andrea Blanch titled Silk Sandals by Gucci and published in the August 2000 issue of Allure magazine to illustrate an article on metallic makeup. Koons copied the legs and sandals from the photo and used them in his painting Niagara, 2000, oil on canvas. A work commissioned by Deutsche Bank AG in consultation with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin. Koons lawyer argued that Niagara is an entirely different expression for the sandal in the photograph.
Niagara (from Easyfun-Ethereal), 2000. Oil on canvas, 10 x 14 feet (304.8 x 426.7 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
The judge Louis L. Stanton of U.S. District Court found that Niagara was a new creation based on the raw material provided by the photograph. In addition, Blanch did not have the copyright over the Gucci sandal therefore the only thing that could be copied was the females leg which could not be deemed original in order to be protected by copyright.
Blanch wanted to have been asked for permission, as is the case with most artists whose work is being used by other artists even of it is transformed.