The polished sculpture adorning the prow of Jeff Bezos's new "superyacht" (image courtesy Backgrid USA)

Jeff Bezos has once again proven that money simply cannot buy taste through his addition of a new figurative sculpture attached to “Koru,” his $500M “superyacht” spotted off the Spanish coast this month. I must admit that the boat itself is quite sexy considering the price tag, but the fantasy figure installed on its prow, which could be a grotesque commemoration of his girlfriend-turned-fiancée, journalist and helicopter pilot Lauren Sánchez, leaves a lot to be desired.

The figure’s face undoubtedly resembles that of Sánchez, but that’s where the artistry ends and the horror show begins. Appearing to be carved from wood and polished to a sheen, the figure’s body has both arms, feathered wings, and clothed quads that transition bizarrely into … betta fish fins? Your guess is as good as mine, honestly, and I’m taking suggestions. At least the sculptor was conscious enough of female anatomy to include slightly protruding nipples poking through the tight dress that’s pretty much vacuum-sealed over the figure’s torso. I’m sure those are powerful headlights for this 417-foot-long luxury boat.

While it’s unconfirmed that the sculpture is modeled after Sánchez, its appearance coincides with the news of her engagement to Bezos that became public this week.

The sculptural figure appears to be wearing a spiral emblem pendant on a necklace that references the yacht’s name, “Koru,” referencing the Māori symbol that resembles an unfurling fern frond and signifies creation and perpetual movement. The Koru is also said to represent new life, a meaning that Bezos seems to be taking to heart since his 2019 divorce from his first wife, philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott, and his 2021 step-down as CEO of Amazon followed by his first venture into outer space in a penis-shaped rocket mocked by everyone in the world.

While it’s not unusual to witness an upper-middle to upper-class man buying a boat to appease some sort of wealth-induced midlife crisis, I think we could all do without the polished boob-y wooden sculpture, and that $500M could have easily been used to ameliorate the working conditions at Amazon warehouses without making so much as a pin-prick in Bezos’s net worth. I guess it’s kind of sweet, in its own grotesque way, that Sánchez is leading Bezos into the next phase of his life through this really poorly executed artistic gesture. I may be giving out too much credit, though.

Rhea Nayyar (she/her) is a New York-based teaching artist who is passionate about elevating minority perspectives within the academic and editorial spheres of the art world. Rhea received her BFA in Visual...

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