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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jeff Koons Vegas to Versailles - Balloon Puppy vs Tulips

Jeff Koons greatest show was at Versailles where the contrast of stainless to faux marbre was exquisite.
Jeff Koons with Tulips - recently unveiled at Steve Wynn's Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Jeff Koons at Versailles.

Michael Jackson by Jeff Koons at Versao

Koons Lobster at Versailles

Koons at Versailles.

Koons heart at Versailles

Tip toe through the Tulips - Ecomanta

Louis XVI would have been happy to see the palace adorned in such splendor.  For the world's # 1 artist had revolutionized his palace. - The absolute monarch of the art scene with prices fetching well over 30 million for his pieces, Jeff Koons reigned supreme.  The turnout for his opening was unparalleled and the one of the most misunderstood artists was in the house of Louis, one of the most misunderstood of all the French kings. 

Fast foward to a few days ago where Steve Wynn unveiled the most expensive art ever to be placed in a hotel - the Tulips by Jeff Koons which sold for 33.7 million dollars not long ago.  Vegas the land where out dust a grown up Disneyland has been created - what better place to house a Koons sculpture for in a way Jeff Koons art while a critique on "Art" with a capital A also tells us its ok to be a kid again - to like the balloons that made us happy as a child. 

Jeff Koons Tulips at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas
 Jeff Koons, although highly accessible because of the user friendly subject matter of his sculpture, that being oversized party balloons, is highly complex in his art. Art critics have attempted to categorize him and ended up in utter awe either condemning his work or praising it to the highest levels. Like his work Koons is an enigma. Both self-critical, critical of society and the art scene at large, and then embracing a child hood fantasy we all love and long for - to be the birthday boy or girl forever on a grand scale.  To have the party baloon that will never deflate, never be thrown out, and never go away.  He is like the clown who twists the dog baloon for you at the party - but he says " The magic is real, its permanent, its here for ever and its all for you."  His earlier works were more about him and his fantasy world with his overt pictures and sculptures of Ciccolina.  Now as artist in his 3d work especially he is bringing us the true world of kitsch as high art - the comfort food that makes us all happy.  Its pure scale, flawless execution,  and importance in the art scene is what make it so powerful. Part Warhol and part Michelangelo, Jeff Koons pure genius explores the psyche of the mind - we cannot look away. Our childhood curiosity is ignited at all levels.  We are clay in his hands - all be it a multi-colored 24 pack of   Play-doh.

Jeff Koons Tulips in the Wynn Hotel.
Inson Wood and Jeff Koons 

Looking forward to the future, Jeff Koons will be having a Retrospective at the Whitney Musuem on Madison and E75th street in January of 2014.  “This will be the first time a single artist has ever taken over almost the entire museum,” said Scott Rothkopf, a Whitney curator who has quietly been working on the retrospective for over a year now. “But we wanted to choose an iconic American artist as a farewell to the Breuer building.”
“It’s been a dream of mine to do this show,” Mr. Rothkopf added, explaining that he has had a long relationship with Mr. Koons, having written about him extensively since Mr. Rothkopf’s days as a graduate student at Harvard a decade ago.
Other New York museums have tried but failed to organize giant retrospectives covering Mr. Koons’s career. At the Guggenheim Museum, discussions date back to 1996. A show was scheduled and rescheduled several times, until curators there finally abandoned the idea.
Reasons included the high cost of fabrication and technical difficulties in making the works that are part of Mr. Koons’s “Celebration,” a group of large-scale sculptures and paintings. Because of their size and the materials — stainless steel and plastics that are hard to manufacture — they require special use of foundries, a cost that has nearly bankrupted some dealers who tried to produce the pieces. That series is only now nearing completion.
Mr. Rothkopf said the Whitney’s show would span 35 years of Mr. Koons’s career, from 1979 through 2014, and would include more than 100 works in all media: paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints. New York won’t be its only stop. The exhibition will open in January 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; then in June it will go to the Whitney before traveling to the Pompidou Center in Paris in December 2014.
No stranger to the Whitney, Mr. Koons, 57, has been included in more than 10 Whitney-organized exhibitions, dating from 1985.
“I’ve never had anything like this in New York,” he said. “I remember being an art student and going to the Whitney in 1974 to see the exhibition of Jim Nutt, the Chicago imagist. It was then I transferred to school in Chicago, all because of that show. The Whitney is a museum that has a great rapport with younger artists and the community.”
The public knows the artist best for a few signature sculptures, including “Balloon Dog,” which was installed on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008; “Puppy,” the lovable 43-foot terrier fashioned from more than 70,000 flowering plants that presided over Rockefeller Center 12 years ago; and “Rabbit,” a giant silver balloon that was in the 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Despite the ubiquity of so many of his works in the popular imagination, so much remains unexplored and unexamined,” Mr. Rothkopf said. “People remember these singular works, but they grew out of specific series. I want the show to tell the narrative of his development, to be very scholarly and give historical perspective to his career.”
Mr. Koons has gained considerable attention for the high prices many of his sculptures have fetched at auction — “Balloon Flower (Magenta)” sold for $25.7 million at Christie’sin London four years ago, a record for him at auction — so it is surprising that he has never had a large or comprehensive retrospective in New York, especially considering those artists of his generation who have had such shows, including Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman and Sherrie Levine.
Included in Mr. Koons’s show will be all his famous sculptures, as well as his paintings from every era and preliminary studies for many of them. Loans will come from museums and collectors, in addition to Mr. Koons’s own holdings.
“It will be interesting to remind people how specifically he created dialogues between his paintings and sculptures,” Mr. Rothkopf said. “He’s traditional on one hand, radical on the other.”