Jeff Koons: A Retrospective at the Whitney covers some of the artist best works from 1978 to present. Featuring famous floating basketballs from his first solo show Equilibrium, with a subtle nod to his Pennsylvania childhood in a recent series titled Gazing Ball the exhibit truly celebrates the artist’s remarkable career.
Already familiar with Koons work, what interested me most was how he interpreted failure in his creations. Easyfun, most noted for its funhouse style reflective mirrors and statues as well as whimsical cartoons, actually came to life during what could be defined as the most difficult time in one’s life. While gazing into Kangaroo, I marveled at my new found Victoria Secret model proportions due to the gracious tricks the piece was playing on me (think carnival funhouse). I couldn’t help but wonder, in today’s generation of Instagram filters and altered presence through social media outlets, if Koons, in his own way, had started this movement long before Steve Jobs invented the iPhone.
Overall I enjoyed the show. Whether or not you are a fan of Jeff Koons you will appreciate and envy his longevity as an artist. Similar to watching LeBron James play basketball or Jack Nicholson act, you feel as though you are in the presence of watching someone fulfill the dream they were destined to find in this life. It is a seamless transition from floor to floor, exhibit to exhibit. As I exited the museum I found myself questioning why a massive mound of play dough, a mirrored lawn decoration and a gold plated statue of Michael Jackson evoked the cocktail of nostalgia, anxiety and endless possibility that I have not felt in a very long time. GCV
Jeff Koons: A Retrospective
Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave
Thru October 19, 2014
Tickets: General Admission $20.00