Tuesday night, Dom Perignon took over New York’s Stephan Weiss Studios, transforming them into a phantasmagoria of funhouse-style mirrors and rainforest-worthy canopies. It was all in celebration of Jeff Koons who has collaborated with the brand on a “Balloon Venus for Dom Perignon,” a small-scale version of his celebrated sculpture which houses a bottle of Rose Vintage 2003. Between 100 and 200 will be produced, priced at $20,000 a pop (pun intended.) The artist also designed more accessible limited-edition gift boxes for the Rose Vintage 2003 and the Blanc Vintage 2004 that go for a mere $349 and $169, respectively. Between checking out baby “Balloon Venus,” on display in various incarnations and lighting scenarios, we caught up with Koons to discuss his latest creation.
Tell me about the genesis of this collaboration and why you decided on this particular sculpture?
When Dom Perignon contacted me a little over two years ago and asked if I would be interested, I was honored. Dom Perignon represents quality and respect for tradition. My most recent work, my antiquities series, has really dealt with the narrative of human history: our biological narrative, our DNA. And to me Balloon Venus represents fertility and the continuation of life’s energy.
So do you link champagne with fertility? If I think of champagne, I think of the celebration of life—biology and organic life.
Do you drink much champagne?
I love champagne and ever since I was a child, when I celebrated an important event or if somebody gave me a bottle for Christmas, it was always Dom Perignon.
How did you figure out how to get the bottle into the sculpture? It looks rather tricky.
I work with a lot of 3D programs daily, so that was wonderful for making the bottle fit inside. It’s a kind of masculine element, the shape of the bottle.
It’s quite sexual having a masculine bottle inside a Venus sculpture. Is it a metaphor for intercourse?
It’s a celebration of life energy.