Jeff Koons at the Whitney... (Part II)

17:09

Banality, by Jeff Koons (1988)
General View - Whitney Museum, NY 
Keeping up with our visit to the Jeff Koons' exhibition, in which we are constantly amazed by the changes of color and size, the series entitled Banality deserves a special moment of reflection.
The room is narrow and in display there are 10 wooden or porcelain figures the artist did in 1988. From the Pink Panther to St. John the Baptist, a pig surrounded by angels and the touching sculpture of Michael Jackson with his monkey Bubbles, it's all a mixture of religion, art and the bizarre. 
Let's see some of the artworks in detail. The first one is St John the Baptist, based in a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, holding a pig and a penguin. According to Koons, during the Baroque period, the Church used religious imagery to manipulate the people, but the image itself breaks free from the Church and produces a spiritual experience in the public. 
St John the Baptist, by Jeff Koons (1988)
Materials: Porcelain / Measures: 143.5 x 76.2 x 62.2 cm
Edition of 3
For the next artwork, Koons was inspired by a photo of a boy pushing a pig and, since he was born in Pennsylvania, he felt it as autobiographical. “I don't care if people enjoy or accept my work, what I really feel is that God is on my side", Koons reflects.
Ushering in Banality, by Jeff Koons (1988)
Materials: Painted wood / Measures: 96.5 x 157.5 x 76.2 
Private collected
The ostentatious sculpture of Michael Jackson and his monkey seeks to be a metaphor for what culturally embarrases us or makes us feel guilty.
Michael Jackson and Bubbles, by Jeff Koons (1988)
Materials: Porcelain / Measures: 106.7 × 179.1 × 82.6 cm
Private Collection
This is only a glimpse of all the many roads walked by the artist throughout 40 years. It's then only valid to ask ourselves: do I like this or not? And then walk into the following room for more shocking surprises...

Sources:
Jeff Koons,  edited by Hatje Cantz, 2014, USA
Roberta Smith, Koons, New York Times Art Review, July 2014

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Liliana Wrobel


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Carla Mitrani

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