As if Paris hadn’t suffered enough over the last two years, the city is about to be saddled with an enormous and exceptionally unsightly Jeff Koons sculpture. The oversized SkyMall tchotchke is intended as a gesture of Franco-American solidarity following last year’s terrorist attacks in the French capital (the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the attacks of November 13, 2015, including at the Bataclan concert hall). The giant sculpture, “Bouquet of Tulips” (2016), is slated to be installed in a small plaza between Paris’s municipal Museum of Modern Art and the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum in the summer of 2017. In the meantime, the Paris Foundation will work to raise the estimated €3 million (~$3.2 million) needed to cover the work’s production and installation costs from private donors.
“This has nothing to do with current events, and everything to do with American values,” Koons told Le Figaro. “We are living in a time of rupture. I think that ‘Bouquet of Tulips’ transcends the present moment and reaches back to older times, a longer history that goes from Greek antiquity up to today, beyond events that are by their very nature temporary.”
The work will be rendered in a mix of the artist’s highly reflective stainless steel balloon forms and a hyperrealist aesthetic. The 34-foot-tall, 36-ton work is currently being fabricated in Germany — from polychromed bronze, stainless steel, and aluminum — under the supervision of Paris-based fabricator Noirmontartproduction.
“‘Bouquet of Tulips’ references the hand of the Statue of Liberty holding the torch,” Koons said in a statement. “I wanted to make a gesture of friendship between the people of the United States and France. The work also has a dialogue with Pablo Picasso’s ‘Friendship Bouquet’ and his sculpture ‘Woman with Vase‘ in the act of offering. You can also look at the sculpture and think of the Impressionist flowers of Monet or the Rococo flowers of François Boucher or Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Flowers are associated universally with optimism, rebirth, the vitality of nature, and the cycle of life.” This will be Koons’s first major project in Paris since his very popular retrospective was on view at the Centre Pompidou last year, but the artist has a checkered record in France: his 2008 show at Versailles was met with a sharp backlash from conservative commentators and officials.
The sculpture is similar to Koons’s piece “Tulips” (1995–2004), one edition of which casino magnate Steve Wynn bought at auction for $33.6 million and installed at his namesake Las Vegas resort. (Another is in the collection of The Broad.) The new work, though it references the historic statue of Lady Liberty (installed in New York harbor since it was gifted to the US by France in 1886), will be sited just four blocks from the Flame of Liberty in the Place d’Alma. Inexcusably, the renderings of the forthcoming Koons sculpture do not include an image of it grafted onto the Statue of Liberty, so I had to take measures into my own hands.
Plaintiff Cheri Pierson accuses the disgraced financier of a “brutal” sexual attack at the Manhattan mansion of Jeffrey Epstein.
At the heart of What if the Matriarchy Was Here All Along? is the idea that matriarchy never really died but rather has transformed.
Larry Towell’s images reveal a little-seen, isolated world and raise questions about the unforgiving impact of tradition on families.
Mexican photographer Alfredo De Stefano’s photographs of barren deserts and other works reflecting on the climate crisis will be displayed in a not-for-sale section.
SCAD’s booth at Design Miami/ features glazed tiles by alumni artists Nicolas Barrera, Lauren Clay, Gonzalo Hernandez, Cory Imig, Abel Macias, and Nikita Nagpal.
Whether Musk’s weird still life post was an act of trolling or an act of cringe is up to you, but the memes speak for themselves.
For roughly half an hour, art collectors had to consider a world in which they didn’t get that Alex Katz work.
Join the New-York Historical Society on December 9 for a virtual conversation with Kellie Jones, Rujeko Hockley, and Cameron Shaw on the past, present, and future of Black art in the US.
From art fairs to alternative spaces that may not be on your radar, here’s a run-down of what to see (and eat and sip) in Miami. No NFTs, we promise.
Protests are erupting across the country in response to President Xi Jinping’s strict zero-COVID policy.
The unique MFASA at the Institute of American Indian Arts offers mentorships with world-renowned Indigenous artists, flexible schedules, and access to one of the US’s cultural capitals.
What does it mean when the world’s richest person trolls us?
Ghenie’s paintings of Marilyn Monroe are a relentless representation of a howling, turbulent tragedy, a face broken into crude sideways slewings and gougings and gorgings of paint.