There are not many philanthropists like Eli Broad, who died on April 30th, 2021 at the age 87. In his lifetime, Broad and his wife Edith amassed a personal collection of over 2,000 works of contemporary art, which they then donated to the city of Los Angeles (and the world), building a namesake museum to house them all for your enjoyment. Who does that? Amazing. You can read more about Eli Broad’s life of service in his obituary from the NY Times at This Link. Read all about my super fun visit to The Broad Museum shortly after it opened in 2015, and see some choice pieces of the collection, at This Link. RIP.
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Jeff Koons’ Woman in Tub (1988) combines a cartoon-like rendering of a nude woman startled by a submerged snorkeler with the exquisite, hard-paste porcelain finish of typical 18th-century Rococo figurines. Part of Koons‘ Banality series, which is characterized by oddly eroticized, comic and kitsch images, this work takes personal taste — good and bad — as its primary subject.
Koons has explained the work’s biographical origin:
When I was a kid, my grandparents had an ashtray on a table in their television room. It was a small porcelain of a girl in a bathtub. It was white, with pink and blue details, and the legs went back and forth. As a kid, I was mesmerized. My Woman in Tub comes from that, though it references [the toiletry scenes painted by] Manet and Degas. I had such as experience of awe looking at that object.
People will frequently ask me, “Gail Where Do You Find The Stuff That You Post for the Pink Thing Of The Day Column?” And I will tell them “I Find Them Everywhere!” Case in point: this Jeff Koons-esque mirrored Fuchsia Pink Perfume Bottle with Mickey Mouse Ears on its cap was found by me one rainy morning last week, peeking out from a box of toys that were perched atop the sealed trash bin in front of the Chickpad’s gate. A stroll through the Google tells me the that it is called Kiddy Girl — or sometimes My Way Kiddy Girl — Perfume. Yes, it is For Kids. Also, most of the bottles whose images I saw online have a logo printed on the bottle; so, how lucky was I to find one that is is such pristine, unmarked condition? So lucky, that is for sure.
In imagining Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009) as a contemporary god of pop culture, Jeff Koons draws on long histories of representing mythic figures in sculpture. In Michael Jackson and and Bubbles (1988), the singer cradles his pet chimpanzee, mimicking a Pieta as perhaps a poignant evolutionary take on the composition of a mother and her child. Koons uses the techniques and conventions of traditional Meissen porcelain — a medium often associated with kitsch — on a grand scale, to underscore the mass appeal of his subject. Similarly, the pronounced use of gold signals excess to the point of banality, even as it reflects the brilliance of the megastar in the manner of an Egyptian pharaoh.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Like Life: Sculpture, Color and The Body, at The Met Breuer, NYC.
As part of the gallery’s anniversary of 25 Years in business, David Zwirner on 20th Street is currently hosting an exhibit of works by a selection of the major artists it represents. Being a major Jeff Koons fan, my favorite piece in the show is Bluebird Planter: a piece from Koons‘ Banality series (2010 – 2016) created in the artists signature mirror-polished stainless steel, with a transparent color coating, and a space on top of the sculpture for live flowering plants.
The Banality series consists of a number of large sculptures inspired by porcelain Hummel Figurines. I kept a random art fan in this shot, so you can see how large the sculpture is.
This sculpture had fake plants in its planter but you can get the idea. It is extremely gorgeous. Breathtaking even.
Jeff Koons‘ 45-foot tall inflatable nylon sculpture, Seated Ballerina, went up in Rockefeller Center Plaza on May 12th, 2017 and was originally due to be up only through June 2nd. But the sculpture’s tenure was extended by three weeks due to popular demand, which means you still have until this Friday, June 23rd, to make your pilgrimage to Midtown!
Sunday was so very hot and summery here in the City, and I decided to train it uptown, where I visited a street fair, ate ice cream, and walked all around the Seated Ballerina sculpture, taking shots of her from every angle.
The famous golden statue of Prometheus is just in front of her.
And here’s a shot without Prometheus.
I like that she’s up high enough that you can crop tourists out of your pics, or leave them in for life-size-scale comparison.
This one was taken with my iPhone as opposed to my regular camera. The difference in quality is amazing.
Here’s a detailed look at the back of her skirt.
Here she is as seen through the trees from across 50th street!
Jeff Koons Seated Ballerina can be found in Rockefeller Center Plaza, bordered by Fifth Avenue to the East, Sixth Avenue to the West, 49th Street to the South and 50th Street to the North.
Donut Ever Forget Me ByJae Yong Kim (All Photos By Gail)
If you like Donuts and Art, then you will go crazy for Korean artist Jae Yong Kim’s latest exhibit, Pop Goes The Donut, which is up now at Lyons Wier Gallery.
Donut Ever Forget Me, Detail
To say that these surreal, fantasy Donut sculptures look good enough to eat is a understatement. But while these donuts are glazed, they are in fact made of glazed ceramic, so resist he urge to bite into one, as it would be hard on the teeth!
Donut Ever Forget Me, Detail
And just look how Instagram-ready they are!
Aside from inspiring you to immediately hit up a Krispy Kreme, you’ll love how Kim incorporates the most recognizable motifs of favorite Pop artists like Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama and Jeff Koons into his various Donut-themed series.
Duet of Donut Soup
Kim has a field day riffing on Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans, which he recreates here as Donut Soup. Yummy.
Le Petit Donut Soup
These ones look like Jelly Donuts to me.
Le Petit Donut Soup (Detail)
Donut Soup Dozen
Pumpkin Spice Donut
With Pumpkin Spice Donut, Kim references Kusama’s yellow and black spotted Pumpkins.
Donut You Love My Teddy Bear (Series)
The colorful, mirrored-surface of the Teddy Bear-Head Shaped Donuts made me immediately think of Jeff Koons‘ Balloon Dog on a Plate.
Donut You Love My Teddy Bear Series (Pink)
Buy, Sell, Hold – the Donuts!
Here’s a Donut Grouping that pays homage to the Stock Market! Fun!
Make sure you stop by Lyons Wier to snap some selfies with these donuts before the exhibit closes in just under 2 week!
Jae Yong Kim’s Pop Goes The Donut will be on Exhibit Through May 14th, 2016, at Lyons Wier Gallery, Located at 542 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.