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July 29 2014

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11 posts tagged "Jeff Koons"

Jeff Koons Recalls His Favorite Whitney Museum Moments

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JEFFPerennial art world heavyweight? Sure. But this summer in particular, New York City finds itself basking in the throes of Koonsmania. Yesterday a cadre of bold-faced names turned out for Larry Gagosian’s summer luncheon feting the artist’s colossal Split-Rocker sculpture, which will preside over Rockefeller Center till September. On Friday, a massive Koons retrospective bows at the Whitney, the last-ever exhibit in the Breuer-designed Madison Avenue space before the institution decamps to downtown. And July 17 sees the opening of H&M’s Fifth Avenue megastore, a 57,000-square-foot museum-inspired space. The retailer, which has lent its sponsorship to the Whitney’s survey, plans to wrap its new digs in a giant Koons balloon dog graphic—to say nothing of that certain-to-sell-out purse.

At this week’s Whitney preview, Koons waxed nostalgic about the significance of the old space: “I think the Whitney has always been a museum that’s been inviting to artists. It’s let artists know that it’s really here as a platform for them to experience art, get a better understanding of the possibilities of art.” As to his first thoughts on having the last word? “When the museum asked me to have an exhibition, and they said they wanted me to close the first building, I thought, Close the Breuer? Shouldn’t I maybe be opening the new museum? But the more I thought about it, it was just really perfect to be able to have that last exhibition here in this space because it’s such a fantastic architectural museum for art. This is just an ideal moment. I feel such a sense of comfort in having the exhibition here. It’s perfect.”

Below, Koons shares with us his holy trinity of memories from the Breuer-designed fortress on Madison Avenue.

1. “The Whitney Biennials! I remember staying in the museum for twenty-four hours one time, sleeping in the museum, installing an equilibrium tank for one of the Biennials that I was involved with.”

2. “In 1974, when I came here as a young student—I would’ve been, I guess, 18 years of age—and I followed Jim Nutt. It had a very large impact on me, and I ended up changing art schools—I moved from Maryland Institute College of Art to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago so that I’d be able to study with Jim. He was our sabbatical lead, but I think I had him as a teacher only once. But I was able to work very closely with some of the people around Jim, so seeing that exhibition here was very, very moving to me.”

3. “I met H.C. Westermann [when] he had a retrospective here at the Whitney. I met him out front. He came and he had on a cowboy suit and cowboy boots. He was very, very generous.”

Photo: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

Get a Jeff Koons for $49.95

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Koons

Jeff Koons is a busy man. The world’s foremost purveyor of plus-sized reflective animals opens a retrospective at the Whitney on June 27, and has now teamed up with H&M, WWD reports. Koons has designed a limited-edition satchel emblazoned with his infamous balloon dog, which will be available online, at select H&M stores, and at the Whitney from July 17 (also the date that H&M’s museum-themed Midtown flagship will bow). And at $49.95, it will cost you considerably less than the real deal.

Photo: Via WWD 

Charlotte Olympia Steps Up for Art

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CHARLOTTE OLYMPIA and GAGOSIAN GALLERY Present Stepping Up For Art

Last night at the Gagosian Gallery’s Madison Avenue space, twenty of Charlotte Olympia’s signature Dolly shoes were radically reinterpreted for the sake of art. Aptly dubbed Stepping Up for Art, the exhibit—on view for three days—saw twenty contemporary artists including Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Sachs, and George Condo (above) use the high-heeled platform as a blank canvas.

The project’s chief architect was not the brand’s London-based designer, Charlotte Dellal—although she was in attendance and in utter awe of her refashioned platforms—but 16-year-old India Wolf, the daughter of artist Maya Lin and collector Daniel Wolf.

“India approached me after having seen the hand-painted shoes I had done at Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbour during Art Basel Miami—they were painted in the style of contemporary 20th-century artists like Picasso—and she said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we actually did them with living artists in their own way rather than imitating?’ I thought it was a fantastic idea,” offered Dellal.

One year later, Wolf, with some help from her parents (“They advised me in the beginning about how to write the proper letters and how to ask the right people,” she said), was able to secure the participation of leading contemporary artists. Shoes were slashed by Sarah Sze, burned by Tom Sachs, bound by Christo, and photographed by David Levinthal. She also partnered with Studio in a School, a nonprofit organization that promotes arts education in New York City’s underfunded public schools.

Five schools—including PS 196 Bronx, PS 45 Queens, PS 16 Staten Island, PS 39 Brooklyn, and PS 75 Manhattan—also contributed their inventive Dollys to the show. “The kids’ work is so surprising, they don’t disappoint, either,” offered Thomas Cahill, president and CEO of Studio in a School. “That’s one of the lovely things about [Stepping Up for Art], the process and the respect for their work is mirrored by the whole respect that the Gagosian gallery has…these kids will have the memory of this forever.”

For Wolf, this night would surely be more memorable than prom. The Dalton sophomore and toast of the party wore Charlotte Olympia’s blank-canvased Dollys paired with a Spring ’14 Mary Katrantzou graphic print dress. “I’d love to work in art and fashion when I’m older,” she said, later citing Oscar de la Renta and Christopher Kane as two of her favorite designers. “I mean, I don’t wear their clothes. They’re too expensive,” she said with youthful modesty. “Half of my wardrobe is J.Crew and Madewell.”

Filling Fashion Week’s White Space

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The White Space - Presentation - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014

“I’m really interested in promoting young designers and bringing them together,” explained curator and stylist Alison Brokaw of her interest in The White Space. The project, a three-day showcase of four emerging designers at Jeff and Justine Koons’ West Chelsea studio produced by Brokaw represents a concerted attempt to shine a spotlight on new talent during a week when, amid 250-plus presentations and runway shows, it’s become near impossible for nonestablished brands to attract substantial industry attention. The idea behind White Space is simple: “If you bring everyone together, you’re going to get more traffic, you’re going to get more people through the door,” said Brokaw. “We’ve had all the majors through, [meeting the designers] and giving them feedback. It’s been a very, very positive experience.”

The four designers on view come from diverse backgrounds. Wadha Al Hajri (above) is a Qatari womenswear designer with a sharply architectural aesthetic that features cutout-heavy, hand-embroidered black-and-white woven separates; Brokaw found her on a sales trip to the Middle East. “My collections are always inspired by my heritage and my background,” Al Hajri offered. “Working in Qatar is challenging—there are no pattern cutters!—but it’s integral to my vision.”

The White Space - Presentation - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014

Handbag designer Lee Savage (above), a Savannah, Georgia, native, gives us solid brass, lamb-lined and leather-coated geometric evening clutches, this season inspired by the minimalist creations of Donald Judd. “Because my background is in interiors, everything is very architecturally based,” said Savage of her hyper-sculptural accessories, which are carried at Barneys and on Net-a-Porter. She’s hoping to attract the attention of a few other buyers through the showcase.

Kashmiri scarf designer Yaser Shaw runs his family’s generations-old, traditional fabric manufacturing workshop in the Himalayan mountains. He collaborates with local artisans, helping them select colors and patterns (this season inspired by the work of Josef Albers and 17th-century Central Asian architecture) as they spend three weeks weaving each set of six shawls.

English designer Anjhe Mules (one of the costume designers for The Hunger Games) of technical sportswear line Lucas Hugh rounds out the group. “It’s technical sportswear with a high-fashion twist,” she explained. “Everything is styled to make you look slimmer, and there is support as well through the waist and the bum. The aesthetic is a little edgier.”

“Everyone’s doing something different, so there’s really no competition,” said Brokaw. “It’s great to bring everyone together and focus on these three days the magic happens.”

Photos: Getty Images 

In Seoul, Chrome Hearts Is Bigger than Ever

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Chrome Hearts' Installation in Seoul

Chrome Hearts—Richard Stark’s L.A.-based clothing and accessories label with a rocker-cum-skater sensibility—launched its second boutique in Seoul, South Korea, this past weekend. To celebrate the new space, which is nestled inside the city’s massive Shinsegae Main Department Store, the brand collaborated with Korean pop musicians Big Bang & 2NE1 on a range of items (like chokers, sweatshirts, and fingerless gloves), which, along with a host of other exclusive wares created for the opening, will be available throughout the month. The big news, however, is Chrome’s installation—a collection of signatures, like a heart-shaped locket, an oval belt, and the JJ Dean bag, which have been blown up to jumbo size and displayed in the store. (We should also mention that an assortment of giant CH crosses will remain on the store’s roof—across from a Jeff Koons sculpture—for the next year.) Also on view is 28 Images, co-owner Laurie Lynn Stark’s photography show, featuring the likes of Iggy Pop, Shepard Fairey, Brittany Murphy, and Karl Lagerfeld. As for what will garner the most attention, we’d think it’s a toss-up between Karl and Chrome’s thirteen-foot leather-and-metal dinosaur—stiff competition, indeed.

The sculpture and photography installations will be on view until June 27 at Chrome Hearts’ new store, located at Shinsegae Main, 52-50 Chungmuro 1ga, Jung-gu, Seoul.

Photo: Courtesy of Chrome Hearts