Photographer Mitchel Gray has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Jeff Koons alleging that one of the artist's works infringes on Gray's copyright to a photo used in a Gordon's® gin advertisement in 1986. The ad portrays a photo of a woman painting on the beach and a man seated next to her, a photo of a bottle of Gordon's® and the tagline "I could go for something cool, crisp and Gordon's."
Koons' version, which uses the photo with slightly adjusted colors, a bottle of Gordon's® in a different spot and the tagline "I could go for something Gordon's," sold for $2.04 million at auction in 2008. The complaint reportedly asserts that Koons never contacted Gray for permission to use the photo and never provided him any compensation from the proceeds of the auction, citing for added support Koons' testimony from a similar infringement case filed in 1989 involving a different piece of art in which Koons said he did not seek permission to use any of the ads featured in that series of works. Gray seeks damages for three claims of copyright infringement. See Courthouse News and The New York Post, December 15, 2015.