Now through October 19th, artist Jeff Koons has his work throughout thirty-five years on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art on the Upper East Side in New York City. Each of the five floors is a peek into a different part of his life with a short description of each piece neatly placed on the walls. As elevator doors opened I was engulfed by large oil on canvas paintings of former actresses, A statue of Michael Jackson, vacuums from the 80’s that haven’t been used protected in a glass case covered in bright florescent lights, floating basketballs, and the famous billboard with his former wife Cicciolina; who was also a porn star.
The beauty in seeing this exhibit in person was reading about what inspired him to create each piece of art based on what was happening around him during that decade. My favorite collection was the celebration series. The series started in 1994 to mark a year and the cycle of life. His inspiration was an invitation to design a calendar; in which he created photos that referred to holidays and events. Celebration is meant to evoke birth, love, religion, and procreation.
My favorite pieces were the moon; made from stainless steel and transparent color coating. This allows you to see all the sculptures behind you in the pink reflection. The famous Balloon Dog. It was placed near the window standing ten feet tall and weighing one-ton. Also made from a transparent color coating. Koons wanted the Balloon Dog to depict innocence and playfulness and elements that suggest sexual orifices and protuberances.
And finally, the giant play-doh sculpture was right in the middle of the room. This piece was inspired by his son and required two decades to create. It serves as a monument to childlike imagination.
Jeff Koons is such an amazing artist. I’m so glad I was able to view his work during my 4th of July weekend.