Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I was happy to be able to visit the Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney Museum while I was in NYC last week.  I have always found his 'balloon animals' quite delightful, and always found the artist quite intriguing and seemingly a brilliant marketer and salesman.  I am still not entirely sure how he got anyone to promote his early work or why anyone purchased his work before he was famous.  But the retrospective gave me a much better understanding of the sweep of his career, his wit and ideas behind his works.  I still feel the 'balloon animals' and other works from his 'Celebrations' exhibit are his strongest by far, but I am happy to see how much these works actually have weight and emotion behind them.

It was also great to see one of his early iconic works in person, despite the fact I don't totally understand the physics of it.  Yes, the ball is actually suspended in water, and it is slowly sinking...

And of course the wonderfully iconic Bubbles the Chimp with Michael Jackson

And one I had not seen before, which is secretly my favorite...(anything Rococo, you know!)

I was not completely sure on these however (featuring the artist himself and his wife)...

In particular after window shopping just down the street and spotting what I can only imagine was Koons' inspiration for the works...

The exhibition was tinged with some sadness for me, as I am sure it will be the last visit to the Whitney at their original and current location on the Upper East Side.  They will soon move to a new, flashy, Reno Piano-designed building on the very hip and young Lower West Side somewhere between the Meatpacking and Chelsea, next to the High Line; a move I am not very on-board with yet.  I love the 1966 Marcel Breuer building, within easy walking distance of the Met, the Guggenheim and the Cooper Hewitt.  I will miss the Whitney in my favorite NYC neighborhood.  But good luck to them with all those cool hipsters downtown!

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