Monet’s Water Lillies with Gazing Ball (All Photos by Gail)
Hey remember back in the spring of 2013, when Jeff Koons launched his magnificent Gazing Ball series? I sure do. Gazing Ball was a collection of stark white Greco-Roman statuary, augmented by assorted replicas of common objects such as a Mail Box or Snowman, each of which was enhanced with a bright blue mirrored globe, also known as a Gazing Ball. Trust me: it was Rad.
So, Gazing Ball is a Thing now. Koons revisited the concept when he created the artwork for Lady Gaga’s 2014 CD, ArtPop, and now he’s done it again with a massive show at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea appropriately titled Gazing Ball Paintings.
As the title implies, Gazing Ball Paintings are Koons’ copies of works by Famous Masters with a Gazing Ball attached to the front of each canvas.
As much as I am inclined to suggest that Koons “phoned it in” for this series, that is not to say that I didn’t totally love the work.
Because, just as the crappiest attraction at Disneyland is still lots of fun, Jeff Koons is Jeff Koons. He could go full-on Yoko Ono and I would still go see the show.
I should probably mention that photography using a “Professional Camera” — which is what the Gagosian staff call a point-and-shoot camera — is not allowed. You can only take photos of the art using a Smart Phone or, I am guessing, an iPad. Lame City.
Up Next: Gazing Ball with Food.
Jeff Koons Gazing Ball Paintings will be on Exhibit Through December 23rd, 2015 at Gagosian Gallery, Located at 522 West 21st Street in the Chelsea Gallery District. Jeff Koons!
Discovering cool public art in NYC is part of what makes being an art lover in this city so rewarding. Even though they have been up since February 19th, I just read about Paula Hayes’ Gazing Globes installation in Madison Square Park last week, and with less than a month left to check it out, I felt encouraged by the promise of less frigid weather to head over there this past weekend.
The work features eighteen transparent polycarbonate spheres that hold the remnants of contemporary culture, including up-cycled radio parts, industrial materials, acrylic wands, and other pieces of vintage technology sprinkled with fairy dust made of pulverized CDs. In this way, Hayes is using new materials and adding fresh content to her objects while retaining some of the form of her well-known plant terrariums.
The heights of the pedestals varies, which adds a keen visual dynamic as well. It is like walking into a magical fairy land!
Each see-through globe lit from within features a mixture of analog radio parts, castoff electronic transistor parts, glass vacuum tubes, micro glass beads, shredded rubber tires, and recycled plastic flotsam. To these mixed remnants of technology and culture the artist added crystals and minerals.
A shimmering fairy dust was made from pulverized CDs and is layered within each sculpture’s interior. Hayes, who typically works with varieties of plant materials, determined that everyday castoffs are indicative of a society’s behavior and value system and symptomatic of the current landscape.
The artist states, “I used vintage parts because technology moves at such a fast pace. These play a role in the current landscape and how information is transmitted from one part of the globe to the next. I made an illuminated landscape evocative of the designed landscape of Madison Square Park. Both are born of human imagination and technology.”
Since the Globes are illuminated, the optimal viewing time is at dusk or, ideally, in the dark. We arrived maybe 20 minutes before full sunset, but due to being underdressed for a sudden temperature drop, we were just too cold to remain outside any longer.
Gazing Globes by Paula Hayes’s will be on view through April 19th, 2015 at the West Gravel area of Madison Square Park, Located on the North East Lot at Intersection of 23rd Street and Broadway, New York City.
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!
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!
The Inflatables Series (1978–79) features works that look like weightless, air-filled plastic flowers, though the works are made of stainless Steel.
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, 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, 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.
New Series Gallery View
Three Basketballs in a Tank, Equilibrium Series (1983–93)
Frangelico Ad, Luxury and Degradation Series (1986)
Baccarat Crystal Cocktail Service Set, Luxury and Degradation Series
Mermaid, Statuary Series (1986)
Bob Hope, Statuary Series
Banality Series (1988) Installation View
Surprised Bather, Banality Series
Gilt Mirror, Banality Series
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 Series
Koons Bust with Crystals, Made in Heaven Series
Made In Heaven Series Amethyst Sculpture
Pink Cake, Celebration Series (1994 Onward)
The Celebration Series gallery is probably my favorite in the entire exhibit.
Purple Heart, Celebration Series
Play-Doh with Balloon Dog in the Background, Celebration Series
Pink Button with Random Gallery Visitor, Included for Scale, Celebration Series
Purple Giraffe Silhouette Mirror, Easyfun Series (1999–2000)
Easyfun-Ethereal Series (2000–02)
Seal Walrus (Chairs) Sculpture (Foreground), Elvis (Background), Popeye Series (2002 Onward)
Lobster, Popeye Series
Hulk (Organ), Hulk Elvis Series (2004–14)
Pluto and Proserpina, Antiquity Series (2013 Onward)
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).
Today, November 11th, 2013 marks the release of Lady Gaga’s latest CD, ArtPop. The disc is most notable not so much for its musical ear-worm dancefloor-friendly shenanigans as it is for the artwork that graces the cover: a sculpture of a nude Gaga with a Gazing Ball between her legs, which was designed by Jeff Koons, one of the wealthiest and most successful contemporary artists in America. Confession: the fact that Lady Gaga managed to collaborate with Jeff Koons is the only reason I am paying any attention to this album.
To celebrate the CD’s please, Gaga’s well-oiled Hype Machine have opened a Pop Up Store in New York’s Meat Packing District (and another one in LA) which is open today, tomorrow and Wednesday from Noon to 9 PM each day. Since today is a holiday, I was free to check out the scene on West 14th Street and take some photos so you can see what you’re missing out on. Or not.
Everyone Working in the Store Had Their Make Up Done Like This
The place was totally mobbed within 30 minutes of opening its doors and one of the guys there selling T-Shirts said it had already been “a long day.” HA! In addition to merchandise for sale, which includes a variety of Gaga T Shirts, Canvas Tote Bags, Magazines with her face on them and, of course, the ArtPop CD, the space features a few props from the ArtPop photo shoot and a selection of Gaga’s outfits, which are always fun to see.
For Fans looking for a more personalized experience, there are “interactive” kiosks, where you can virtually insert yourself yourself into one of Gaga’s videos, get your photo taken in front of some Gaga Props and a tiny room where people are leaving written homages to Gaga on its paper walls.
This is the Binary Chair from the ArtPop photo shoot. Pretty cool!
Here you can see Jeff Koons styling and photographing Gaga for the cover sculpture.
This is probably from the CD booklet, but will give you an idea of what Koons’ Gazing Ball exhibit at the David Zwirner gallery looked like.
Here are some masks Gaga wears on stage.
They had lots of T-Shirts for sale!
Sadly, these Gazing Balls, which are props left over from the MTV Music Awards are not for sale.
I enjoyed my visit!
The Lady Gaga ARTPOP Pop Up Store is Open Monday November 11 – Wednesday November 13, from Noon to 9:00 PM Daily! Find it at 417 West 14th Street just West of Ninth Avenue (Near the Apple Store).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.