When you think of giant statues, historical figures are likely to come to mind. But Brian Donnelly, who goes by the name KAWS – a stage name like Cher or Madonna – constructs monstrous-sized Mickey Mouse lookalikes for public places.

And the question is, why? Perhaps it can be argued that Disney's cartoon character, nearly 75 years old now, is historically notable.

Mountain-high Mickey Mouse

You may remember KAWS's 18-foot inflatable statue of his knock-off of Mickey at Rockefeller Center. He tends to rework this image a lot. He's at it again in a Singapore marina, with yet another reworked Mickey, this time eight times taller at 137 feet.

At this point, you have to wonder what's next.

Meanwhile, the Singapore court ordered KAWS' Mickey show "stopped from taking place and the sale and distribution of relevant merchandise relating to the exhibition halted." The issue? Something about "breach of intellectual property." The artist told Yahoo News Singapore the "accusation is baseless."

At the same time, another maker of inflatables, Jeff Koons of Balloon Dog fame, is also in the news for a similar breach. He's being sued for re-using another artist's stage-like setting to display his work. This is not the first time Koons is being sued for infringement of another artist's rights. But he doesn't stop. Maybe people don't care if the artwork is unoriginal.

How else to explain Artnet's report that KAWS installation in Singapore was "wildly popular." Also raving is Artmajeun Magazine, tagging this "enormously successful." Of course, this magazine is also known to have touted Koons' exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy as a "blockbuster" that brings together his "masterpieces." You know, like Balloon Dog.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

So, now we get balloon mouse. Look, it's not that all inflatable sculptures are pointless. The diaper-clad baby blimp of Trump that floated over the British Parliament to protest his visit was a veritable floating political cartoon. Yahoo News called it a rallying point for thousands of anti-Trump protesters who packed central London.

The art of attention-seeking

So, is balloon art the high bar for successful artmaking now? If yes, doesn't that encourage – no, goad artists to seek attention with whatever catches the eye like a mountain-high mouse? M. H. Miller, writing for the New York Times Magazine in February noted KAWS "surprising ascent to Blue-chip artist." Not so surprising if you imitate a safe bet.

Is that why KAWS is in three museum collections: the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego? Because he's touristy? Never mind art critics like Anny Shaw writing in The Art Newspaper that KAWS is "conceptually bankrupt." The public doesn't seem to care about that.

Mind you, I'm not down on blurring the line between commercial and fine art. Text artist Jenny Holzer does it all the time with great effectiveness. But is it too much to ask that the result be just a little bit original? Or do KAWS fans think that when he crosses out the eyes of the famous mouse, he's being original?