Art for Armitage
Karole Armitage has been a driving force on the international dance scene for more than 30 years—and has the friends and internationally renowned collaborators, like Jeff Koons, Carroll Dunham, and David Salle, to show for it. “Jeff Koons and I became good friends in the eighties, when he was not at all successful as an artist,” Armitage tells Style.com. “And Philip Taaffe slept on my floor in Florence.” Now, Koons, Taaffe, and five other artists have bonded together to help out the legendary choreographer and her company, Armitage Gone! Dance, which is in need of financial support. The artists have donated their postwar and contemporary artwork (from $18,000 to $250,000) for a Christie’s auction, taking place in New York this week (November 9).
“The artists are the great heroes,” Armitage says. “They give selflessly over and over again.” In the mix, there’s a self-portrait pastel piece from Francesco Clemente, an inkjet print from John Baldessari, a bronze dancer sculpture from Eric Fischl, and the inflatable pig costume (seven feet high) from Armitage’s 1989 collaboration with Jeff Koons. “Jeff has an astonishing ability to hit the nail on the head by pointing out things that seem obvious, but which no one else can express,” she says of the costume. The money raised from the auction will allow Armitage to create a new ballet.
In the meantime, Armitage is hard at work on several wide-ranging side projects, including a new tent show for Cirque du Soleil; a ballet focused on the art of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock; and a “catwalk homage to the icons of style, from models to Indian chiefs to rock and movie stars” called Rave, complete with costumes by Donna Karan.