It’s been only a few weeks since Jeff Koons last tried to turn heads in the form of a collaboration with Louis Vuitton that turned masterpieces like the Mona Lisa, not to mention paintings by legends like Rubens, Titian, van Gogh, and Fragonard, into leather duffel bags and miniature clutches, with each artist’s name—Leonardo Da Vinci, for example, in case you forgot—in a blaring all-caps, metallic text.
When you’re one of the world’s highest-paid artists, though, the hype machine needs to be fed. And now Koons has pirouetted back into the spotlight with Seated Ballerina, a 45-foot sculpture of a dancer, meant to resemble a porcelain figure, which is currently occupying Rockefeller Center through June 2. Evidently undeterred from employing fragile materials after one of his balloon dogs shattered at Art Basel Miami Beach, Koons constructed Seated Ballerina out of inflatable nylon, making it only his second inflatable to date. (The first was for the 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.)
Otherwise, though, the sculpture is signature Koons: It’s his third installation in Rockefeller Center, coming on the heels of floral sculptures like Split-Rocker, in 2000, and Puppy, all the way back in 1992. It’s also just one of the many times he’s referenced Venus, an influence he’s also said has made its way into works like his album cover for Lady Gaga and his sculptures like those he once made for Neiman Marcus. And, of course, it’s not the first time he’s worked with either Art Production Fund or Kiehl’s, producing a collectible tin for the cosmetics brand whose profits will go to a charitable cause, the International Centre For Missing and Exploited Children. Here, a look at the sculpture on Instagram. After all, with the inclement weather hitting New York this weekend, who knows how long the balloon will last?
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