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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Koons Balloons

On May 23, 2006, the new 7 World Trade Center was completed. The developer, Larry A. Silverstein, presided over the ceremonies (which included a free, two-hour concert featuring Lou Reed and Suzanne Vega) and unveiled this sculpture - Balloon Flower (Red) by internationally acclaimed artist, Jeff Koons. It sits in a fountain in a small triangular plaza outside 7 WTC, bounded by Greenwich Street, Vesey Street and West Broadway. The park, designed by landscape architect Ken Smith (surrounded by azaleas, boxwood and sweet gum trees), overlooks ground zero (seen in the background of the photo) where the Freedom Tower is being built. Koons has done a number of balloon animal inspired sculptures. In fact, the one shown in the night photo is identical to three others: a blue version at Marlene-Dietrich-Platz in Berlin, Germany, a silver one in the Max Hetzler gallery and Balloon Flower (Magenta) at the home of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky in Dallas Texas. Although the 9-foot sculpture is made from stainless steel, the red color and balloon motif gives the work a light, playful feel - intentional on the part of Koons as a counterpoint to the somber nature of the setting ...

Interesting note: For a time, Koons was married to Hungarian born, Italian porn star Ilona Staller (stage name Cicciolina). She served a term in the Italian parliament (1987-1992) - the first hardcore porn star in the world to be elected to a democratic parliament. During their marriage, Koons made a controversial series of paintings, photos and sculptures Made in Heaven, showing the couple in explicit sexual positions.

7 comments:

Lucy said...

I remember that show with his then wife. He has become extremely popular for public art commissions.

Pat said...

Wonderful shiny colours. I really like this photo and I enjoyed your text too.

Pat

Guelph Daily Photo, Pat's Photo-a-Day

marley said...

That is a really creative piece of art, I love the bright red.

Tuppence said...

oh stunning! its a wonderful photo.

i've only just got a user name as i've never commented before, but your blog was the first i visited and i've been viewing daily for about a year. i love your write-ups, you put so much effort in and theyre always so informative and interesting. thanks for providing us with great ready and wonderful pictures every day, take care

Tuppence said...

apologies for the type error above, last but one line should read 'reading' not ready.

oldmanlincoln said...

Odd but I seem to remember the Italian Porn Star and her place in the sun. That was a while ago.

Mme Benaut said...

I adore this sculpture, Brian. I remember Cicciolina's term in the Italian parliament too.
Generally I love your site because I've always wanted to visit NYC. I will visit one day, hopefully in the not too distant future.