Jeff Koons Is ‘Saddened’ His ‘Tulips’ Have Been Causing Distress In France
By Mikelle Leow, 03 Oct 2019
Image via Naeblys / Shutterstock.com
American artist Jeff Koons, reputed for his childlike balloon-themed installations, has had his hopes popped in Paris after a sculpture he had gifted to the city became the subject of controversy.
According to Agence France-Presse, Koons expressed on Tuesday that he was “saddened” his 39-foot-tall Bouquet of Tulips artwork—which he had presented to Paris in response to the 2015 terror attacks that left 130 people dead—was being heavily criticized by the French.
This variation of Bouquet of Tulips is depicted with a hand, mirroring how the Statue of Liberty holds her torch. The installation represents America’s solidarity with France, and was originally planned to be placed outside the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum.
Artists and industry professionals then delivered a letter critiquing the sculpture’s proposed location, further decrying that Bouquet of Tulips was an inappropriate response to victims of terror attacks. They argued that it was a display of “product placement” by an artist recognized for creating “spectacular and speculative” pieces.
In addition, they pointed out that the sculpture would potentially block views of the Eiffel Tower.
Following backlash, Paris confirmed in October that the artwork will be set up at a garden behind the Petit Palais museum instead of outside the large-scale Palais de Tokyo.
Koons is dismayed at the negative reactions, explaining that they were a result of “a lot of misunderstandings and misinformation,” AFP reports.
He stressed that the Palais de Tokyo location was not proposed by him but the city of Paris. The experience had been “painful” for him, he said, though the artwork gave him a “magnificent opportunity to show [his] respect and love for France and the French.”
While the piece was commissioned at €3.5 million (US$3.8 million) by private donors, Koons said its proceeds would be split among organizations supporting victims of terror attacks and the city of Paris.
Koons is the record-holder for living artist with the most expensive artwork sold at an auction, with his 1986 Rabbit sculpture fetching a price of US$91.1 million in May 2019.
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Really Really Bad Art (Art, Not Artists): ‘Bouquet of Tulips’ (2016) by Jeff Koons. - - This distasteful, opportunistic, and irrelevant 40 foot embarrassment is being installed in the municipal gardens behind the Petit Palais as a memorial (read: homage) to the 130 people who lost their lives in the 2015 Paris terrorist attack. Koons ‘generously’ donated the concept, yet requires upwards of $4 million for fabrication and installment. - - #painting #art #artist#artcollector #acrylic #art #artist #oil #painting #color #figure #abstractart #Kunstcollector #memorial #paris #publicart #jeffkoons #petitpalais @jeffkoons
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[via Artdaily.com, images via various sources]
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