koons-christie's

It looks like Koons hasn’t lost heart yet, even after all the discussion around his tulips “homage” to Paris, Bouquet of Tulips, a monumental public work thought in all terroristic itms memory, but eventually rejected for the artist chosen much central location. So Koons doenst stop to make people speak about him, but all of this just fuels his works market, even ifa bit of a loose end at the moment, after the golden period. So at next  Christie’s sale in NY next May  we will find a very monumental unique work by the artist : namely Play-Doh (1994-2014), a multicolored complex sculture of 11 meters tall. Star star attraction at his Whitney retrospective (Bill Bell Jr. loaned his edition of the work to the museum show), Play-Doh is ten feet high. It is constructed twenty-seven pieces of painted aluminum, exactly replicating a mound of Play-Doh made by his son. Koons has said of the work that he wanted to capture the exact moment before person tears the play-doh apart. The edition of five Play-Dohs took 20 years to realize in the manner Koons found acceptable.

By the fact, a work that this anything but a “simple shining toy” of his so apparently  pop/blockbuster style,  which we are often tempted to trace back this artist style. In fact it took decades for the notoriously perfectionist Koons to generate the sculpture’s unique cracked texture, which, in the final version, really does look like the dried surface of play-doh As Andrew Pharmer explained, who worked with Koons’s studio on the project at the famed Polich Tallix foundry in Walden, New York. “The cracks really have to be done by hand and by eye—that’s part of what took so long. It’s really as tedious as you can imagine.” But, he added, “if it were to be fabricated in a single section, it would be a completely different sculpture. You would see a bleed between the colors.” Rather than opt for a hollow sculpture, which would have drastically cut down on the production time and cost, Koons insisted on creating a real “pile.” From a plaster mold, Koons’s team created more than two dozen interlocking sections of painted aluminum that are designed to fit together perfectly. Gravity alone holds the blocks in place. Over the course of the work’s production, the cost of fabrication soared. If the seller gets the $20m Christie’s is hoping for (and initial reactions to the estimate is that it is conservative) , there may not be much profit in it for him or her. However the  massive work also posed considerable logistical hurdles for Christie’s, and ranks among the most ambitious installations the house has ever undertaken at its Rockefeller Center headquarters. Though it arrives in pieces, the assembled sculpture is approximately 12 by 10 feet, and the doors had to be widened to accommodate it. Art handlers used a spider crane—specifically designed for indoor and small-space use—to get the moving parts in place. “We hope that part of the magic of viewing this work will be the question: ‘How did they get that in here?’” says a Christie’s spokesperson.

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Artists, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst pose during a photocall to launch the Newport Street Gallery in London with Koon’s piece “Play-Doh”.

Such complex works by the artist urges us to somehow reconsider his ouvre just apparently limited to a empty pop and bit kitsch aesthetic, that yet earns many points in favour once we consider all the critic reflections and the investigations on matter and senses of art manufacts, that are embodied  behind them.

Indeed, this is mostly what emerged from such interesting interview recently released by the artist as a intimate dialogue with the celebrated curator Hans Ulrich Obrist on Artsy. In this dialogue, in fact, the artist revealed some critic and cultural raisons and sources beheind his works, often strictly connected to a reflection on art history  and with specific cultural references,as well as some ambitious but so interesting projects never realized. come poi alcuni suoi ambiziosi notevoli progetti mai realizzati.

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Puppy (2014), Koons, Bilbao

Among them, for instance, we have  Building Blocks, that comes from stacking Legos on top of each other. It’s a figure that’s a little bit like an animal shape but it’s also very architectural. It has an eye and a kind of head that looks like it’s from a horse or some other type of animal, but it would be 160 feet tall. I wanted to incorporated live plants—bushes. If you look at a piece like Split Rocker (2000) or Puppy (1992), I usually use plants that come with a flower head that’s somewhere around five or six inches. But Building Blocks was intended to use much larger bush-like plants and would be on a much larger scale. It also has a large waterfall that comes down from the back of the piece from around 100 feet in the air.

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Man Ray A l’heure de l’Observatoire – Les Amoreaux (Anselmino 15), 1970
Sotheby’s

Another great work as an ambitious homage by the artist to the city of Love, Paris, an his artists and art : Lips it’s a single pair of lips. It’s very similar to Man Ray’s Lips that you see over the Paris landscape. I came across some of the early airships that were built in Paris, and I realized that Man Ray’s Lips probably came from him seeing postcards or images of these early airships. So I designed an airship that is over three times the size of the Hindenburg. It’s over 800 meters long. It’s really gigantic. It’s an airship that would always be hovering around, in this case, over Paris.

With reference to his pop aesthetic he justify it explaining: ” Growing up, I had an aunt that lived in Philadelphia, and she took me to the Philadelphia Museum of Art a couple times, but I was never brought up with a background in art history. But on my first day of college they put us on buses and took us to the Baltimore Museum of Art. And I realized that I didn’t know Braque, I didn’t know Cézanne. And it was very important to me because I survived that moment. But I realized that a lot of people don’t survive that moment, and I’ve always wanted to create an art that would not only help me accept my own cultural background—my own history, where I could have self-acceptance, that I’m perfect in my own being—but to be able to also develop an art that immediately communicates to the viewer that everything about them is perfect. Everything about their past, every imperfection and perfection, everything is perfect to that moment, and it’s all about going forward and experiencing that transcendence and increase of our parameters.




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