The story ends. Seems with a little help from a certain counselor of the law who composed a well worded letter to our friends at Louis Vuitton, the mad chase to shut down the creative process has come to a close. The “fair use” doctrine has swayed the kind folks at LV to see the light. They pursue the issue no further and I am once again free to “hang” and sell my “jets” at will. I guess they realized that their F-18 sales were not in jeopardy! Until next time!
It is a classic tale as art continues to imitate life and so on. About a year ago I created a couple of sculptures in a series I am calling my “Corporate jets”. Well fast forward to a few weeks back to the showroom where the jets were displayed, (I won’t say where. Just that they were in a great and very visible location in LA). The “jets” in question were covered in the Louis Vuitton logos in a very tongue in cheek way. They were as you can see, a parody about luxury brands and how they are used. Well the good folks at LV decided that they were very unhappy, (I guess sales of Louis Vuitton F-18 fighters has really dropped off)! Short story, they sent a threatening letter to the LA showroom demanding that they be taken down and in fact they wanted to confiscate them. Which leads all of us to questions of appropriation in the name of art. When it is OK and when does it cross the line? Artists have wrestled with this for years and some are still being questioned about it. Now it seems including myself. In researching this topic I have found some interesting facts under what is called the “Fair use doctrine”. Something to look up if you are interested. Just ask Roy and Andy and Sheppard or any artist who has used imagery from popular culture or corporate domains. Some are considered giants of pop and post pop art world even though they clearly “borrowed” from a multitude of resources. Some have been sued but at the end of the day appropriation has been a part of the art world from the beginning. Now there are well informed and reasonable arguments on both sides. In the case of LV vs. JD it seems a bit absurd to the point of being bellicose. More to follow…..