Sunday, 16 November 2008
Jeff Koons Versailles
Jeff Koons Versailles will be on until January 4th. Go if you are here, it is magnificent.
Balloon Flower (Yellow) is the first piece on the art walk, which leads you past the royal chapel, through the royal appartments, down to the Orangerie. One of the world's highest-valued pieces of contemporary art.
Balloon Dog (Magenta) with my sister, coordinating nicely.
The Lobster, suspended next to a chandelier in the Salon de Mars.
The provocatively-curated exhibition saw Koons choose the setting for each piece. His Self Portrait was shown in the Sun King's throne room.
The kitsch Bouquet blended into the opulence of Marie-Antionette's bedroom, opposite the secret door from which she fled the braying hordes shortly before her death.
The Moon echoed the Hall of Mirrors, with age-old grafitti.
The Split Rocker in the Orangerie.
The exhibition caused controversy when it opened in September, with French establishment opinion divided between outrage at the perceived sullying of Versailles and the memory of the French monarchy with the work of a vulgar 21st-century pop artist, known for his self-portraits with his porn-star wife; and the desire to breath fresh artistic life into the home of Louis 14th, known for his own excesses and patronage of the arts. In the end, newness and life triumphed over history and the dead, and in a daring move which trounced letters to the president and demonstrations at the gates of Versailles, the show went on and history remained intact.
The smoothly-designed website gives a great impression with its mix and match sculptures and backgrounds, but the boldness of the art in the splendour of the surroundings are a must-see.