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Jeff Koons – a retrospective

File this under “arts I do not understand”.

I was at Centre Pompidou with S to check out the retrospective exhibition on Jeff Koons, famed for its balloon dogs. As usual, I entered into the exhibition rather naively and knowing next to nothing about the artist. I feel reading up too much about an artist tends to colour one’s judgement since the articles will inevitably contain praises and criticisms; I like forming my own opinion without voices of others in my head.

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

What an eclectic mix of work. Sure enough, there was the giant balloon dog about half-way through the exhibition, but the retrospective began with a series of work “Pre-New” and “The New” based on vacuum cleaners (huh?) and advertisements. I was, simply put, confused. The section on “Banality” contains mostly porcelain-based sculptures, including a rather creepy one of MJ with his monkey. Right-io. Next came “Celebration”, which is prettier and happier, with balloons, heart, and more balloons.

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

Then a room on “Made in Heaven” startled me out of the comfort zone that I’ve just settled into. It felt like kitschy pornography, if you ask me, and then I found out the series was created with an adult entertainer who was briefly married to him. O-kaaay. No photos from this section since they’re totally NSFW, nor this blog. Let’s move along.

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

“Easyfun”, “Popeye” and “Hulk” took on popular characters and transformed them by way of material (inflatable Popeye and an impaled Hulk) and more general infantile weirdness. Do people really collect this kind of arts? No offense, but some of those on display could have been a collage and random scribble by my 3-years old niece.

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

The last sections on “Antiquity” and “Gazing Ball” were largely banal, and I was glad to spot the exit just beyond the ballerinas. The exhibition, overall, is a small one, but each phase from one to another felt rather disjointed and incoherent, as if the artist struggled to find a voice to his work. Or maybe he just like to push odd boundaries and leave people feeling unsettled?

Jeff Koons – A Retrospective
Centre Pompidou, until 27 April 2015



Category: Museum

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2 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    inflated balloon artist kekeke

Scribble a note to med × Cancel reply


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