Home Arts Jeff Koons Expands His Reach, from Greece to the Moon

Jeff Koons Expands His Reach, from Greece to the Moon

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More is always for more Jeff Koons..

Now 67 years old, he has been a well-known artist for nearly 40 years and his desire to reach more people while making his art more impactful and spectacular and maintaining the world of art. Don’t be shy.Symbolized by his gorgeous sculpture “Rabbit,“Balloon dog” When “puppy.”

Artist Ai Weiwei summarizes in an email: “Jeff Koons isn’t just an artist. He’s a phenomenon. He’s unique.”

This summer, Koons set his art course in two very different directions.

The first goes back to the roots of ancient Western art. For ten and a half years, Koons has given classic Greek and Roman statues a unique spin. On June 21st, the project’s “Jeff Koons: Apollo” vein show was held on the Greek island of Hydra.Space slaughterhouse operated by Deste Contemporary Art Foundation.

On display until October 31, the show is secured by a large, colorfully painted sculpture of the god Apollo, who plays an instrument called the guitar’s predecessor, the Cithara. Animatronic python slides around him. It was inspired by the Hellenistic sculptures that Mr. Koons saw at the British Museum. (Mr. Koons was a featured guest last week Art for tomorrow A conference related to the New York Times in Athens, and representatives were given the opportunity to see his Hydra installation. )

The second artistic trajectory literally points to the moon itself from this world. The lunar lander will be carried on a rocket manufactured by SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, and will place a small sculptural case for Mr. Koons. Make them the first approved artwork in the month. The launch is tentatively scheduled for late fall, a spokesman said.

Launch is part of a three-part project.Jeff Koons: Moon PhaseAlso includes sculptures for collectors to keep at home and his first non-fungible token or NFT, a digital medium that has been engrossed in the art world for the last few years.

In May, at his main studio on the West Side of Manhattan, Koons talked about both projects.

“All the artwork I create is actually devised and executed in some way through digital technology, which has been done that way for decades,” he said. I explained that. “But I wanted to make sense of it.”

Mr. Koons considers his mission to be magnificent and reveals that rigor in the conception and production of his work is his artistic word of love. ..

“I feel a moral obligation, so I’m always trying to do my best,” he said. “This is one chance to do that. And the artwork can be treated as a metaphor for the type of care you put in it. It really shows people that you care about them. is.”

Ai paid close attention, saying that “the thoroughness of his work can only be exceeded by a few artists.”

Koons said “Apollo” feels he is “trying to play metaphysically over time.” He added that the installation “celebrates the freedom we have in art.”

That freedom is bestowed by Koons’ early patron and close friend collector Dakis Joanou, who founded Athens-based Deste in 1983. Before the show started, the details of the installation were Joannou himself.

Visitors are greeted outside the work by “a giant double-sided wind spinner with a reflective golden surface,” Kunes said. Actors and living animals are located outside the building (as the name implies, it’s a former slaughterhouse) and nods to one of the artist’s guide lights (including bicycle wheels and urinals). ) Is also available. Artist Marcel Duchamp.

Apollo stands in the music connected by pipes. Apollo had some divine functions, but the one that most resonates with Mr. Koons is the gift of his prophecy. “He can be very, very calm, or he can be very violent.”-In words violentMr. Koons spread his bright blue eyes.

The walls surrounding Apollo and Slythering Python look like frescoes, but they are actually covered with vinyl. They are, Mural From the Roman villa in Boscoreale near Pompeii, from the 1st century BC, part of it is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In the small porch area, there is an object, a gaze ball, which has been a recurring motif in Mr. Kuhn’s art for the past few years. They are part of his fascination with mirrors — and he also prefers balls to be a common suburban garden decoration. (One of Mr. Kuhn’s early series was called “Banality.”)

Regarding his continued interest in ancient times, he said it was related to his quest for “a revival of connections and shared meanings.” “I love to see ancient works because we really feel the same. We have a similar type of idea,” he added.

Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Chief Curator Whitney Museum of American ArtHeld in 2014 Looking back And he chose to hold the Whitney Show with some of Koons’ classic themed works, rather than the famous button-pushing works of the 1988 sculpture. “Michael Jackson and the Bubble” For the sake of clarity.

“This series may look like a plosive, but the seeds were there from the beginning,” Rothkov said in an interview. “Jeff has always worked on the most universal theme of the Human Condition, and he has always worked on the long arc of art history.”

Roskov pointed out that the “special and rare” relationship between Koons and Joanou is particularly important in the long run, given that Koons produces elaborate and expensive works.

“It takes a lot of people to make a’balloon dog’, which is not an artist with his brush and canvas,” Rothkov said. “People need to believe in you, even before work exists.”

It’s very rare for the founders of private museums to be barely aware of the contents of their exhibition space, but Joanow has a relationship of trust with Koons and likes to be surprised.

“I wanted a magical moment to experience something for the first time,” Joannou said. He first met Mr. Koons in 1985 and has since collected dozens of works and added them to thousands of piles of contemporary art.

Joannou warned viewers not to stay at the fascinating visual hooks of Koon’s work.

“They have layers,” he said. “The surface may be attracted, but it needs to be exceeded.”

Koons lives in Manhattan’s Upper East Side with his wife, Justin Wheeler Koons, who is also an artist. He has eight children. During the pandemic, the family spent a lot of time on a Pennsylvania farm near their hometown of York. I usually spend weekends and summers there, raising cattle as a group activity.

As part of the “moon phases,” Koons considered leaving his family for a long journey to the moon. “But I realized it would really require a year’s commitment in my time, and I can’t really do that because everything is happening in the studio and in my work was.”

This three-part project was announced this spring by Pace Verso, the NFT-focused division of Koons’ representative Pace Gallery. Ambitious enough for people to wonder: can he really pull this off? Most artist projects do not require coordination with NASA.

There are several parts to the project, but starting with 125 miniature lunar sculptures, not all are complete yet. Each is about 1 inch in diameter, half from the Earth’s perspective, half from different perspectives of the universe, and the phases of the moon depicting a lunar eclipse. They are named after the artist’s admiration, the one who “has achieved ambitious achievements in our society,” Kuns said.

The list has not yet been finalized, but the proposed names represented Duchan, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Leonardo da Vinci, Sacagawea, Sojana Truth, the ancient Greek sculptor Praxiteles, and once Koons. There is a dealer, Iliana Sona Bend.

All miniature lunar sculptures will be launched later this year on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on an autonomous mission along with NASA’s payload, leaving the exact landing site still on the moon. Will be decided.

The other two components of each artwork remain on Earth. A large spherical stainless steel engraving wrapped in glass that collectors can store at home and the corresponding NFT.

Earth-bound sculptures feature reflective surfaces that mimic the colors of the surface of the moon and small gems of ruby, emerald, sapphire, or diamond. This shows where the miniature sculpture was left on the moon.

The complex project was initiated by digital art and technology company NF Moon and space exploration company 4Space. Nova-C Lunar Lander Designed and manufactured by Intuitive Machines.

For Koons, the myriad complexity of launching into real space is another reason to look into the details. “NASA had to approve all the materials,” he said, showing off a clear plastic case filled with tiny moon-like spheres similar to those that live on the moon. He admitted that his project was never simple and always complicated.

In addition to his desire to spread his art everywhere, the heart of Mr. Kuhn’s interest in the moon is his role as a reflector of the sun. “The whole moon, it’s reflected light,” he said. “And I have always been drawn to reflection through philosophy.”

In Koons’ view, the “moon phase” is a continuation of his theme and aesthetics. The stainless steel moon sculpture, in its shape and representation in a transparent container, is reminiscent of the basketball he floated in the aquarium in the 1980s “Equilibrium” series.

Mirror images, brilliance and reflexes in particular continue to occupy his mind and art, and to him they have cultural implications that are the opposite of Narcissus mythology.

“The reflective surface confirms,” ​​he said. “This is why I deal with reflectors today. My job is about desire, it’s about transcendence, becoming, and self-acceptance.”

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