The $28 Million Dollar Swipe File – Jeff Koons And Dark Horse Comics

Jeff Koons has created a six-and-a-half foot, two thousand pound, stainless steel statue of Popeye, auctioned for $28,200,000 by Sothebys to casino owner and art buyer Steve Wynn.

The auction house stated "The history of Pop Art begins and ends with Popeye. From his first representations by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol in the 1960s, to the present three-dimensional crescendo by Jeff Koons a half century later, this ultimate American hero and self-made man has remained a true icon of both art history and popular culture."

Lichtenstein is a useful reference… Cartoon Brew has the full story.

Last night Jeff Koons sold a sculpture of Popeye for over $28 million. Today, evidence has emerged that Koons may not have designed the sculpture. In the comments of our previous post about the Popeye sculpture, Brew reader Alex Kirwan pointed out that Koons's sculpture bears a substantial similarity to a Dark Horse-produced Popeye PVC figure released in 2002.

koons-darkhorse-compare-580x433

Without seeing the Popeye sculpture and figurine in person, it's hard to speak with definitiveness, but after closely examining the available photos of each, Koons's sculpture looks like an exact 1:1 replica of the Dark Horse toy. Just take a look at the opened can top—it is copied down to the last detail in a way that could not be mere coincidence.

Now, before Koons made this Popeye sculpture, he also created an oil painting in 2008 called "Triple Popeye."

triplepopeye

They do have a point, don't they?

In Swipe File we present two or more images that resemble each other to some degree. They may be homages, parodies, ironic appropriations, coincidences or works of the lightbox. We trust you, the reader, to make that judgment yourself? If you are unable to do so, please return your eyes to their maker before any further damage is done. The Swipe File doesn't judge, it's interested more in the process of creation, how work influences other work, how new work comes from old, and sometimes how the same ideas emerge simultaneously, as if their time has just come. The Swipe File was named after the advertising industry habit where writers and artist collect images and lines they admire to inspire them in their work. It was swiped from the Comic Journal who originally ran this column, as well as the now defunct Swipe Of The Week website.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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