NYC: Jeff Koons “A Retrospective” at The Whitney Museum

Hope you all had a great long weekend! I didn’t want to let this week fly by without telling you about the Jeff Koons exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. I’ve been wanting to go ever since heard about it in June. So our Monday off, I dragged a friend and J to check it out with me. Our verdict? Loved it!!

I don’t know about you, but there are some things about modern art that I don’t usually understand. More often than not, I am thinking to myself, White Paint on White Canvas? How is this art?? Jeff Koons take on modern art could definitely be seen this way.

I mean, his first “works” were literally sponges, inflatable balloons or vacuums that was either positioned with some mirrors or framed in plexi-glass. As I’m standing there thinking, WTF, I also loved listening to the museum guides (and the free audio guide!) explaining some of the pieces. It gives me a different perspective on the creative process and a good reminder of how everyone can interpret the same thing in so many different ways.

While I didn’t necessarily love the first few parts in Koons’ retrospective, I was excited to see his most recent works. Like this giant balloon dog made out of shiny stainless steel! Who doesn’t love bright, shiny and colorful things?  As someone who taught at a clown summer camp, I also appreciated the flawless fabrication of a balloon animal at such scale. Looking closely, you can see how the twists on the dog is depicted so realistically, right down to the grooves where the balloon meets.

As it turns out, I’m not the only admirer of balloon dog perfection. His Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58.4 million at an auction just a year ago!

As we browsed through the different floors, eavesdropped on different free tours, and looked through the progression of Koons’ works, I found myself just enjoying his art for what it was. I turned off my brain from my usual “How is this art?!” and just allowed myself to be visually engaged and delighted by the pieces I loved. Just one look at this smiley face sandwich canvas and I felt my heart fill with joy. Sometimes it’s the little things in life.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from this slightly controversial 5-floor exhibition featuring almost 150 of Koons’ creations. Just as a warning, while I am keeping my photos on the blog very PG, Koons’ Made in Heaven series was very very raunchy and not child friendly at all. Let’s just say it involves a naked Koons and a porn star that he was married to…

Make sure to check this exhibition out in person before it’s gone on October 19! I recommend buying your tickets online a day or two before so you can skip the line. If you’re a procrastinator like me, we went at around 11am right when the museum opened and got in within 20-30 minutes.

This will also be the last time you’ll be able to visit this location of the Whitney. The Koons exhibition is also the last exhibition that’s going to be at the Whitney in this Upper East Side location before the museum moves to the Meatpacking district in 2015.

The Whitney Museum
945 Madison Ave
b/t 74th St & 75th St
New York, NY 10021

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