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.
When I was in California at Christmastime, a little bit of advanced planning allowed me to enjoy a visit to the new Broad Museum of contemporary art, located in beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Featuring 2,000 works of art from the private collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad (pronounced like “Bro-d”), admission is free of charge, but because the museum just opened on September 20th, 2015, the demand for tickets is so high that they must be reserved online in advance. By December, the list was already booked up through February 2016! It is times like these that writing an awesome blog like The Worley Gig comes in handy. With a couple of exchanged emails, the Broad’s press office was kind enough to extend VIP-treatment to myself and two guests, which included front-of-the-line cutting privileges that saved us about two hours of waiting in a queue that already wrapped around two sides of the building by the time the museum opened at 11 AM. It is good to be the King, or Queen, whatever.
Urs Fischer, Untitled (2012), Melting Lamp Post, Located in the Ground Floor Lobby
Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, and featuring an innovative Veil-and-Vault concept, the 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection, and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library. Needless to say, but you can see I am about to, the building itself is a work of art.
Please enjoy some photos and tips from our visit!
Here I am with my Sister inside Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room
The first thing you are going to want to do when you get into the museum is veer off to the left (when you see the Urs Fisher sculpture above, you are in the right place), look for a museum docent with an iPad, and put your name on a list for timed entry to the Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama. We put our names in within 15 minutes of the museum’s opening, and the wait time for entry was already 75 minutes! Usually, only one or two people are allowed inside the installation at one time, and they only let you stay in there for a rigidly-timed 45 to 60 seconds! Because we were a group of 3, they let us all go in at the same time. When your entry time approaches, they will text you so that you can make it back down to the lobby from wherever you are in the museum, to wait about 15 minutes for entry, which is convenient. Read more about the Infinity Mirrored Room and its associated guidelines, at This Link!
Tulips By Jeff Koons 1995-2004
Art is displayed on the first (ground) and third floors of the building, with the second floor reserved for storage (more about that later). We took the escalator to the third floor right away and were greeted by Jeff Koons famous mirrored steel Tulips sculpture. So gorgeous! The Broads must be huge fans of Koons, because there is an entire gallery dedicated to just to his work. The Broad has the largest collection of Koons work in one place that I’ve seen since his retrospective at The Whitney back in 2014; which was just insane.
Jeff Koons Gallery
Blue Balloon Dog with Wall Detail
This photo of a Koons Balloon Dog showcases the building’s porous, honeycomb-like exterior (made of fiberglass and reinforced concrete) which lets natural light flow into the galleries, and the glass curtain wall behind it, which protects the interior from the elements. Genius.
Roy Lichtenstein, Interior with African Mask (1991)
If you dig Roy Lichtenstein, there are perhaps a dozen paintings and sculptures by the legendary Pop artist.
I made a video of Barbara Kruger’s lenticular photograph, Have Me, Feed Me, Hug Me, Love Me, Need Me (1988)!
Robert Therrien, Under the Table (1994)
This piece is lots of fun.
A futuristic, cylindrical glass elevator will transport you quickly between the first and the third floors, but if you want to check out the second floor, you will have to take the stairs.
On the second floor landing there are these oval windows set into the stairwell wall, through which you can peer in and see where they store all of the spare artwork. This part of the museum (which is the concrete “Core” of the building) is called The Vault, and it is pretty cool. The Vault is also where laboratories, curatorial spaces and offices are located.
Inside The Vault
White Riot By Robert Longo (1982)
Desire By Ed Ruscha (1969)
Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled (1963)
Can you imagine having all of these fantastic artworks — and hundreds more — in your private collection? Unreal. There is a 15-minute introductory film (located adjacent to the Infinity Mirrored Room) that you can watch, which tells you where the Broads got all of their money, in case you’re interested.
Works By Takashi Murakami
The Broads also love to collect the works of superflat artist Takashi Murakami. As with Koons and Lichtenstein, there are enough Murkakamis here to stage a career retrospective.
Robert Therrien, No Title (1993)
Also in the lobby space, very close to the entrance, you’ll find another larger-than-life sculpture created by reclusive, LA-based artist Robert Therrien, this time of a stack of saucers. His work is fascinating.
I am not sure how long the inaugural exhibition will be up, and with thousands of artworks to choose from, it would make sense for the museum to change it up fairly often, so be sure to visit The Broad’sWebsite before you visit. The Broad’s first special exhibition will debut in June 2016, with a comprehensive survey of the work of artist Cindy Sherman. Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life will be the first major museum show of Sherman’s work in Los Angeles in nearly 20 years, and the exhibition will fill The Broad’s first-floor galleries with close to 120 works drawn primarily from the Broad collection.
Find out more about The Broad Museum, and plan your visit by reserving your free tickets, at The Broad Dot Org!
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!
Rachel Harrison (b. 1966) deploys a wide range of influences in her work, combining art-historical and pop-cultural citations with explorations of material, color and form. Her hybrid sculptures enact a range of dialogues — between handcrafted and commercially produced objects, aesthetic and consumer goods, among others — and engage broader social and political histories of exchange.
All in the Family (2012), an upright, top-heavy construction painted deep aubergine, acts as a display mechanism for a bright orange Hoover Vacuum Cleaner. This classic domestic appliance poses as a sculptural artifact or a figure from a retro sitcom, while alluding to Jeff Koons’ seminal 1980s series of encased Hoover Vacuum cleaners.
Photographed at the Guggenheim Museum’s Storylines Exhibit.
Do you like sharks? I sure do. Amy Li Projects is currently hosting a solo exhibition with a fun shark theme: Mechanical Shark Week, featuring all new paintings by one of NYCs most popular Street Artists/ Taggers, Beau. Shark Week!
I didn’t write down all of the official names of the paintings, so I just made up names that I think describe what is happening in the picture, and then I captioned each photo accordingly, so please enjoy that.
Shark at a Picnic
Beau’s paintings in this series include many references to other modern and contemporary pop artists, such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring and Claes Oldenburg. Beau (who in person, strongly resembles actor James Franco) admits that he enjoys working “in variable styles and mediums,” so of course the influences are going to creep in there. And for that, we say, Good On Ya!
Heartbroken Captain America with Shark Sidekick!
Beau says that having dexterity with a broad range of genres allows him to render styles most fitting for any environment. “A lot of my work grows out of necessity,” he reveals. “Usually a client steers me towards something they feel, or that strikes them.”
Bart and The Shark
He continues, “I hold myself to a standard approach that an artist must practice in multiple mediums to encourage a rich growth in perception and technique, and in a classically trained manner.” He also just likes to just ‘let the spirit move him,’ as they say, while “trying to find new ways to break the rules that have already been broken many times over.” You Go, Beau.
Floor Buster Shark
“I also like the challenge of completing paintings and or projects of any media within my reach,” he concludes.
I Don’t Know What This Means
Shark and Bunny at the Greek Diner
As you can see, these are all pretty darn great, and the price point is around $300 – $500, so Beau’s work is very affordable for anyone who wants to build their collection with quality pieces from a very up and coming young artist.
Beau’s Mechanical Shark Week will be on Exhibit Through June 3rd, 2015 at Amy Li Projects, Located at 166 Mott Street in Chinatown, NYC.