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Artnet News
Sept. 2, 2011 

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There’s more bad news for Janine “Jah Jah” Gordon, the photographer whose copyright lawsuit against Ryan McGinley was dismissed last month because her “conception of copyright law has no basis in statute, case law or common sense,” according to the judge. McGinley’s lawyer, Jack Gordon, filed a pre-motion letter yesterday with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York requesting attorneys’ fees for “more than $100,000.” The move is made on behalf of the five co-defendants in the case, which include Team Gallery and Levi’s.

McGinley's lawyer said he still hopes to avoid going through with the motion and has offered Janine Gordon a settlement, but she has not yet responded. “We remain hopeful that a motion can be avoided and the matter totally resolved without much more work,” he said in an email, but “we have not yet received an answer to our proposal to her.”

In his letter, which was issued yesterday to meet the filing deadline, the attorney reminded the judge, Richard Sullivan, that Janine Gordon “stubbornly pressed forward” with her court action, even though she was reportedly urged during an April conference with the court to drop it because “this dispute was ‘not a serious one’ and the issues were ‘about as basic as it gets.’”

In the original complaint, Janine Gordon argued that McGinley had copied the composition and “overall feel” of 150 images in his photographs and video stills, a claim the court deemed “frivolous.” But Janine Gordon thinks her real problem was an unsympathetic judge. She pointed to a very similar high-profile case, in which photographer David LaChapelle accused the singer Rihanna of ripping off his imagery for her “S&M” video, video, that has just been greenlighted to proceed by a judge in a different court. Stay tuned.

--Rachel Corbett

Jeff Koons is lending three paintings from his personal art collection to the Paris Tableau, the new Old Master art fair at the Palais de la Bourse, Nov. 4-8, 2011. As is the case with much of Koons’ collection, female nudes are the subject of each painting, and one depicts another of the artist’s inspirations -- puppies. That work is an oval-shaped painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard showing a woman cradling an armful of puppies to her bare chest. Young Girl Holding Two Puppies, ca. 1770, once belonged to collector Louis François Prault, a printer to the king.

Another work is Nicolas Poussin’s 17th-century Jupiter and Antiope or Venus and Satyr, in which a nude woman sleeps under a tree while a lecherous satyr gropes her. The press release says the painting has been “virtually unknown and unseen for over a century.”

Lastly, Gustave Courbet’s painting of a woman splayed on a bed with a parrot, Femme Nue, 1865-1866, was a study for three of his most famous works, Femme au perroquet, Le Sommeil and L’Origine du Monde, which hangs at the Musée d’Orsay.

For more on Koons’ holdings, see the Collection New York website, rumored to be a complete catalogue and reference for potential loanees.

--Rachel Corbett

Ever wondered what YouTube-art theorist sensation Hennessy Youngman is like off camera? Now’s your chance to find out. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has announced that the fourth edition of The Dialogue, Sept. 7 at 6 pm, an annual conversation on “museums, diversity, and inclusion”, features the provocative young artist in dialogue with Chicago commissioner of cultural affairs Michelle T. Boone and MCA curator Naomi Beckwith, formerly of the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Youngman, whose given name is Jayson Musson, is a Philadelphia-based artist whose satirical critiques of the art world -- broadcast over cyberspace by his slang-spitting, bling-dripping persona Hennessy, the self-declared “pimp of one-liners,” in acerbic five-minute bits called “Art Thoughtz” -- went viral last fall. Described in Art in America as “Ali G with an MFA,” he has been invited to weigh in on this year’s Dialogue focus: “Millennials,” the generation born between 1980 and the early 1990s, and the ways in which their coming of age has shaped and continues to shape our contemporary world.

--Emily Nathan

Police have identified a suspect in an art theft so brazen many thought it was a publicity stunt. The NYPD now thinks 31-year-old Brooklyn resident Enno Tianen stole a work by KAWS (also known as Brian Donnelly) from Marc Ecko’s Complex magazine offices last month, the New York Post reports. Tianen has a litany of assault, theft, graffiti and property damage arrests in his past.

The thief entered the Chelsea building with a passcode on Aug. 4, 2011, and took the picture, a painted-over advertisement of Kate Moss, Untitled (Calvin Klein), 1999, off of the wall and rolled it into a tube. The mustachioed man was caught on camera in the elevator afterward.

KAWS and Ecko, who has been known for enacting public pranks in the past, have both said the work -- which some estimate is worth $100,000 -- was genuinely stolen. That would seem to be the case judging by Tianen’s mugshot, in which he’s sporting that unmistakable pencil moustache.

--Rachel Corbett

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