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.
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.