Tomorrow marks the opening of Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools, a full floor of new and recent work by the artist at the Whitney Museum. Lucky you, you get to see it a day early! I previewed the exhibition and came back with a photo essay featuring bowling video games, photoshop gradients, bad golfers and epic sunglasses.
The recent Cariou v Prince District Court decision has brought to the fore, once and for all, the elephant in the art world and courtroom, Fair Use, which had, until now, managed to avoid close scrutiny in the popular press.
The result of a lawsuit levied against Richard Prince’s “Canal Zone” series of photos has determined that the artist may be forced to destroy the works, as they violate copyright laws protecting the series of photographs appropriated by Prince, “Yes Rasta” by French photographer Patrick Cariou. In the end, what happens to Prince’s work is up to Cariou. The court case revolved around whether or not Prince’s alterations of the Cariou’s photos constituted total transformations of the originals, and thus protected under fair use laws. The answer handed down by the court was that Prince’s works didn’t count as fair use of the images — in a word, Prince’s works were too derivative.
Jamie Alexander and Derek Song were surprised in late December of last year when they received a letter from the New York law firm of Jones Day, which represents Jeff Koons, LLC. Their San Francisco retail store and gallery, Park Life, had never attracted the attention of the art world’s big hitters before, but now, one Peter D. Vogl had sent them a cease-and-desist letter calling for the immediate cessation of their sale of balloon dog bookends. Apparently the 10.2” matte plastic pooches were threatening the Koons art empire and potentially confusing customers who are more accustomed to spending a lot more money on ten foot high hi-gloss steel versions of the same species.