Tag Archive | Balloon Dog

Must See Art: Jeff Koons Retrospective at The Whitney Museum

Jeff Koons Retrospective Signage
Jeff Koons Retrospective Signage Depicting Michael Jackson and Bubbles Sculpture from the Banality Series (All Photos By Gail)

It is no secret that Jeff Koons is one of my most-loved artists. A lot of haters take issue with the fact that Koons is so rich and successful, like that is a bad, thing. I say, if a billionaire wants to pay $58 million dollars for one of his Balloon Dog sculptures, good for him. Good for everybody! If I had $58 Million to blow on some rad artwork, I would do the same thing. Jeff Koons!

Jeff Koons is currently the subject of a retrospective at The Whitney Museum, surveying the full scope of his career, and it is a must see show. Comprised of almost 150 objects dating from 1978 to the present, this exhibition is the most comprehensive ever devoted to Koons’ Artwork, his first major museum presentation in New York, and the first to fill nearly the entire Marcel Breuer-designed Whitney building with a single artist’s work. The Koons Retrospective will also be the final exhibition to take place there before the Whitney opens its new building in the Meatpacking District in 2015 — but what a way to go!

Mail Box with Gazing Ball
Gazing Ball Series (2013)

The Koons Retrospective fills four floors of the building including the lobby, plus the lower level (adjacent to the restaurant) and the small outdoor “garden.” The work is organized chronologically with his newest work, which includes the Gazing Ball series that debuted at the David Zwirner Gallery last year, in a lobby adjacent gallery. Geoffrey and I started on the 4th floor and worked our way down.

Non-flash photography is allowed (thank god) and I took about 100 photos. Here are some highlights from the show!

Inflatable Flowers
Inflatable Flowers

The Inflatables Series (1978–79) features works that look like weightless, air-filled plastic flowers, though the works are made of stainless Steel.

Light Mounted Toaster
Toaster Mounted on Lit Base

Pre-New (1979–80) includes a series of small, counter top kitchen appliances mounted on deco-style lit bases.

Red Telephone
Red Telephone, Pre-New Series

I never thought I would live in an era where some people will neither know how the above object is used, nor understand the significance of its red color.

Vacuum Cleaners
Vacuum Cleaners, New Series

The News Series (1980–87) features billboard-sized product adverts as well as a large collection of sculptures comprised of early model vacuum cleaners encased in vitrines lit by fluorescent tubing.These works reminded me favorably of  old The Carousel of Progress attraction at Disneyland.

Vacuum Cleaner Gallery View
New Series Gallery View

Basketballs in a Tank
Three Basketballs in a Tank, Equilibrium Series (1983–93)

Frangelico Ad
Frangelico Ad, Luxury and Degradation Series (1986)

Baccarat Crystal Cocktail Set
Baccarat Crystal Cocktail Service Set, Luxury and Degradation Series

Mermaid Sculpture
Mermaid, Statuary Series (1986)

Bob Hope Statue
Bob Hope, Statuary Series

Banality Series Gallery
Banality Series (1988) Installation View

Surprised Bather
Surprised Bather, Banality Series

Gilded Mirror
Gilt Mirror, Banality Series

Made in Heaven Signage
Made in Heaven Series (1989–91)

Between 1989 and 1991, Koons and his then wife, Italian Porn star and Politician Cicciolina, posed for a series of sexually explicit artworks that became the Made in Heaven Series and Coffee Table Book. While Koons and Cicciolina are unbelievably hot and fun to look at, some of these photos show lots of Peen and Vajayjay, so you are going to want to keep any kids out of the galleries that are labeled “Sexually Explicit Material/Not for Children” or something similar.

Made in Heaven
Made In Heaven Series

Koons Bust with Crystals
Koons Bust with Crystals, Made in Heaven Series

Made in Heaven Amethyst Sculpture
Made In Heaven Series Amethyst Sculpture

Pink Cake
Pink Cake, Celebration Series (1994 Onward)

The Celebration Series gallery is probably my favorite in the entire exhibit.

Purple Heart
Purple Heart, Celebration Series

Giant Pile of Play Doh
Play-Doh with Balloon Dog in the Background, Celebration Series

Pink Button
Pink Button with Random Gallery Visitor, Included for Scale, Celebration Series

Purple Giraffe Mirror
Purple Giraffe Silhouette Mirror, Easyfun Series (1999–2000)

Mirror Reflected in a Mirror
Easyfun Series

Betty Page and Dolphin
Easyfun-Ethereal Series (2000–02)

Lunch Meat Faces with Mustache
Easyfun-Ethereal Series

Beach Chairs and Seals
Seal Walrus (Chairs) Sculpture (Foreground), Elvis (Background), Popeye Series (2002 Onward)

Inflatable Lobster
Lobster, Popeye Series

Hulk Organ
Hulk (Organ), Hulk Elvis Series (2004–14)

Yellow Mirrored Sculpture
Pluto and Proserpina, Antiquity Series (2013 Onward)

Balloon Venus
Balloon Venus (Orange), Antiquity Series

I know there are a ton of photos in this post, but consider that they represent only one tenth of what’s in the exhibit and you know you gotta go check this out! I’ll be going back at least once more. Helpful Hint to Avoid Crowds: Try to get to The Whitney by 12 Noon or earlier on a weekend. Although crowds are unpredictable, an early arrival made the difference between waiting on line just inside the lobby when we arrived versus a line that went outside and around the block by the time we left!

Jeff Koons: A Retrospective Will be on Exhibit Through October 19th, 2014, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Located at 945 Madison Avenue (at 75th Street) in NYC. The exhibition then travels to the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris (November 26, 2014–April 27, 2015) and to the Guggenheim Bilbao (June 5–September 27, 2015).

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Pink Thing of the Day: Pink Art!

Pink Mirrored Disc at Frieze
Pink Convex Mirrored Disc (All Photos By Gail)

The Frieze Art Fair took over Randall’s Island in NYC this past weekend and it was quite an event! Here are ten awesome Pink Artworks I saw there.

Hot Pink Canvas at Frieze
Fluorescent Pink Canvas

This was the first art work I saw when I walked into the tent. Wow, what a great first impression!

Pink Optical Illusion at Frieze
Pink Optical Illusion

Pink Bars at Frieze
Pink Bars

Pink Papers Bars at Frieze
Pink Paper Installation

Pink Balloon Dog by Paul McCarthy at Frieze
Pink Balloon Dog By Paul McCarthy

Trio of Pink Lips at Frieze
Trio of Pink Lips

Pink Cone at Frieze
Pink Cone

Pink Tulle at Frieze
Pink Tulle

Pink Mountain at Frieze
Pink Mountain

Gazing Ball By Jeff Koons at David Zwirner

Gazing Ball Birdbath
All Photos By Gail

It’s been a decade since the art of Jeff Koons – one of the contemporary art world’s wealthiest, most celebrated and undeniably wildly polarizing figures – has been the focus of a solo exhibit here in Manhattan. This week, he has two: a series of new works at David Zwirner and a retrospective (opening this evening) at the Gagosian Gallery.

Gazing Ball De Milo

The David Zwirner Gallery-hosted Gazing Ball opened last night and, even though the doors opened exactly one hour behind schedule, it was well worth waiting for.

Gazing Ball Head

For Gazing Ball, Koons has filled two conjoined spaces of the Gallery (located at adjacent addresses) with more than a dozen Las Vegas-style reproductions of ancient Roman statuary, each adorned with a strategically placed, royal blue stainless steel sphere flaunting the mirror-finish surface that has become so identifiable with Koons’ sculptures.

Jeff Koons and Peter Brant
Jeff Koons with Art Collector Peter Brant at Wednesday’s Opening Reception

In each piece, the juxtaposition between the classic and the kitsch, to me, is conceptually fantastic and very visually appealing. But of course there are fans and then there are people live to talk smack about Jeff Koons, which I find puzzling.

Gazing Ball Lyre

It’s been said in other reviews, and I tend to agree, that people who dump on Jeff Koons’ art must be suffering from some kind of misplaced envy or inferiority complex. If you don’t like Jeff Koons, and no one says you must, you are free to stay away from his art shows, but don’t come to a Koons’ exhibit and talk loudly about how much the art sucks, because it just makes you look pathetic and desperate to seem cool.

Gazing Ball Centaur

Jeff Koons’ Gazing Ball will be on exhibit through June 29th, 2013 at David Zwirner, Located at 525 West 19th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 AM – 6:00 PM.

Jeff Koons Gazing Ball Signage

Gazing Ball Reclining

Gazing Ball Beowulf

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Pink Thing Of The Day: Geometric Balloon Dog Sculpture

Pink Geometric Balloon Dog By Aakash Nihalani
Image Source

Street artist Aakash Nihalani often references the work of other fine artists in his colorful, geometric sculptures. Here you can see an obvious homage to Jeff Koons iconic, oversized, painted steel balloon dogs. Love this!

Balloon Dog Jello Dessert Mold

Red Balloon Dog Jello Mold

Hey all you Jeff Koons fans out there! Are you dying to make a Jello gelatin dessert molded in the shape of a Balloon Dog? I know I am, and now it is possible to do just that with this awesome Balloon Dog Jello Mold that you can buy from This Link for just $9.95! Only 6 of these puppies are left in stock as of this posting, so don’t delay!

 

Balloon Dog Molded Jello

Must See Film: Exit Through The Gift Shop

It is no secret that I am a huge lover of art. Specifically, I tend to favor modern and contemporary art over marble statues and oil paintings of zaftig nudes and bowls of fruit. All due props to Michelangelo and Matisse, that stuff doesn’t really ‘yank my chain,’ as they say; but put me in a museum full of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and Jeff Koons’ gigantic, painted steel Balloon Dog sculptures and I’m in heaven. Being blessed with someone like Geoffrey as a BFF, it only stands to reason that I would have become a bit fond of the Street Art. Because if Geoffrey is any kind of gay, he is completely and totally GAY FOR THE STREET ART. Just being serious. If it weren’t for Geoffrey, the likes of Banksy and D Face would still be a mystery to me. This past February, Geoffrey forced (not really) me to stand in line outside in the freezing cold for hours and hours, until my tiny feet turned into blocks of ice, to get into the Mr. Brainwash Icons exhibit in the meatpacking district. At the time, I barely even knew who the fuck Mr. Brainwash was, but after five minutes inside the gallery – and once I was able to thaw out and tap a kidney – I became a huge Mr. Brainwash fan. Because, as an artist whose work embodies a cross between Bansky and my beloved Andy Warhol, Mr. Brainwash, he is the shit. So thanks, Geoffrey, for turning me into a fan.

At New York’s Sunshine Theater right now, there is a documentary film playing called Exit Through the Gift Shop, which I took myself to see this past Sunday afternoon. Exit Through the Gift Shop tells the engaging and hilarious story of a French immigrant vintage clothing boutique proprietor living in Los Angeles named Thierry (“Terry”) Guetta, who became obsessed with video-taping the late night activities of Graffiti / Street Artists. Through his relentless filming escapades, Guetta eventually meets the most prolific purveyor of Street Art (the now world-famous Shepard Fairey) and later the most elusive one (the uber-mysterious Bansky) and becomes a kind of sidekick or assistant to these men. Although it is initially Guetta’s objective to transform his thousand of hours of film into a bona fide documentary about Street Artists, once he shows his “completed film” (entitled Life Remote Control) to Banksy, it becomes painfully obvious that Guetta has no idea how to make a cohesive film. However, heartened by Guetta’s never-say-die spirit and fiery, creative passion, Banksy encourages him to go out and make some Street Art himself.

From that point in the film, we see Thierry transform himself from an obsessed  fan into a Street Artist who would eventually become known as – wait for it – Mr. Brainwash! Directed by Banksy and featuring prime cuts from Guetta’s rare “gonzo” footage, and punctuated by interviews with dozens of other artists, Exit Through the Gift Shop is a rare movie-going experience that not only captivates the viewer but one that also manages to propose and offer insightful answers to the timeless question “what is art?” Plus you have to love the part where Banksy and Brainwash surreptitiously attempt to install a work of Guantanamo Bay Detainee–inspired “Art” at Disneyland: one of the most tightly policed places on Earth. Hee!

If you walk into this film not knowing anything about Graffiti Artists or Street Art whatsoever, you will likely come out with a thoroughly comprehensive knowledge of the movement while having been entertained far beyond your money’s worth. What other film can you say that about? The more time I have to digest this film, the more I am convinced that Exit Through the Gift Shop is one of the best and most thoroughly enjoyable films I have seen in my life – which puts it right up there with A Clockwork Orange and Harold and Maude. The Worley Gig gives Exit Through the Gift Shop Five Out of Five Stars.

Gail and Geoffrey’s Excellent Gay Pride Adventure!


Wonder Woman Costume from Met Superheroes Exhibit

This weekend was Gay Pride here in NYC, and Geoffrey and I celebrated by having a ridiculously fun Sunday adventure that will heretofore be known as “The Gayest Day Ever.” Just because it sounds more fun that way!

First, I picked up Geoffrey at his apartment and we traveled uptown by train and bus (experiencing excellent Mass Transit Karma) to 5th Avenue and 82nd street, arriving at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Unless you have ADD, you might recall that I have already blogged about The Met at least three times in the past week, because it is so awesome. Our first stop at the Met was to hit the roof garden for my second viewing in three days of the Jeff Koons sculpture exhibit, Koons on the Roof.


Giant Balloon Dog and Me

We spent a few hours in the museum until we became comatose from over-exposure to too much rad art. I highly recommend the Superhero Costume exhibit, which was just insane.


Spidey!

Geoffrey took some great pictures, even though you weren’t supposed to, and he kept getting yelled at. Go Geoffrey, you wild Rebel, you!


Geoffrey and Koon’s Sacred Heart Sculpture


Jeff Koons’ Coloring Book Sculpture

After we tired of looking at art we went back down town to dine at our very favorite Cuban restaurant, Havana Chelsea, or Chelsea Havana. Whatever it’s called, the food is beyond delicious! We stuffed our faces with fried chicken cutlets, red beans, yellow rice and fried plantains – pausing occasionally to grunt at each other – until we could barely waddle back out on to the street to mingle with the happy gays celebrating their pride! Yay!


According2G.com

But we were not done yet! Next on the agenda of rad fun was my friend Larry’s birthday party! Larry is a record producer and developer of Reality TV programming who I’ve known for about five years. (Trivia: Larry also lives in the same building as John Waters.) Except for there being way too much reggae on the mix CD, Larry’s party was very fun and gay, but Geoffrey and I were so full of Cuban food that we could barely lift our glasses of over-strong Vodka and Cranberry juice and we snuck out after about two hours. What a fun day!

Happy Gay Pride everybody!


Mystique Costume from X Men Movies


Catwoman Costume from Batman Movie