Lots of Koons

Let's start with Jeff...
There has been a little bit of an epidemic of Jeff Koons recently around Europe, (well around Paris and Berlin anyway). I hope all have recovered. First there was the Château de Versailles exhibition and then came Jeff the Celebration exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin and not forgetting a show of new paintings at Galerie Max Hetzler also in Berlin.
The thing about Koons is that, with his sculpture at least (let’s ignore the painting), the setting is everything. His work always seems to make amazing public sculpture, think of the flower puppy in Bilbao, monumental, eye-catching, playful and some of the pieces even spark controversy all the things public sculpture should do. But when you put these glossy pieces into a gallery setting, the often sterile nature of these spaces makes the pieces loose any interest. This is almost what happens at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. To mark the major series of exhibitions on the Cult of the Artitst, the Neue Nationalgalerie proudly presents the exhibition entitled Jeff Koons. Celebration. running from the 31 October 2008 to 8 February 2009.. The space is far from you average sterile white cube but it still doesn’t offer a setting strong enough for these pieces to live. In fact the best way to see the work is by not going into the gallery at all but instead wandering around the building an looking in the windows, there you can see the work in an almost “public” setting and also marvel at the visitors who meander through the space gazing and search for some meaning as they take in Koons. But best of all you don’t have to queue to get in or pay and also you can take photographs of the work.

As for Versailles, what an amazing setting for Koons. Kitsch meets kitsch or something like that. The catalogue for this show is quite amazing, it is like a “Where’s Wally?” (or Waldo) book because the work blends in so well with its surroundings. “Where’s the Koons?”. The catalogue makes a beautiful addition to even the most stylish of coffee tables and also highlights another setting that Koon’s work always succeeds in and that is in the book format. The show itself managed to Ruffle some Feathers in France apparently making a “Royal Heir” poke his head out of the woodwork, Prince Charles-Emmanuel de Bourbon-Parme has asked an administrative court at Versailles to halt the exhibition, he called the show “a desecration and an attack on the respect due to the dead,” (that is the dead that went to the guillotine, is it?) It seems quite fitting if you ask me. It brings Jeff Koons work to a very large audience and this may or may not be a good thing.
What can you say about Koons that hasn't already be said.... Nothing much.