Wednesday, April 01, 2015


This is how Jeff Koons (really and truly) explains his work of art, above:

This painting has a sexualized sense of nature.  There's reference to nineteenth-century French painting, and Courbet, and to Louis Elishemius, a twentieth-century American who has absolutely influenced me over the last couple of years.  There's also a reflective silver line drawing that's what I think would be Cy Twombley's take on Courbet's Origin of the World-- but a little more primal.  The image itself comes from a close-up of a couple in the act of making love.  It's a penetration.  Laid on top of that, with the exact same cropping, is an image of a waterfall.  So you have the greens and the nature colors and then in the center of the waterfall, you have white and the flesh of the couple.  It makes reference to Marcel Duchamp's Etant Donnes.  Sexuality is something that overtakes you.  The gesture that you end up making in the world happens through instinct and all these desires for procreation.  The most beautiful aesthetics, the greatest beauty, is the acceptance of nature and of how things function.  When I say beauty,  I mean just true reality and openness to everything.



Richard said...

Interesting. I love Cy Twombley, while hating this, and yet, I feel completely incapable of verbalizing the particulars of the comparison.

Tom said...

Thanks David, At last a coherent statement on contemporary art!

Or is this a real statement and that is the April Fools joke?

David Apatoff said...

Tom-- These are 100% Koons' own words explaining his picture. Hard to say who the "fool" is-- Koons? His customers? Us?

Richard-- I like Cy Twombley too. Isn't it interesting that one man's stray marks can look intriguing, while another man's imitative stray marks look like crap?

Untitled said...

Hi Dave,
I have recently moved to Tampa. Do you know any places in Tampa or nearby where one could see original drawings either in a museum or in an art gallery or in some other place?

kev ferrara said...


About an hour and a half away from you there is the Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando... the 5th floor is full of Dean Cornwell paintings and is, apparently, open to the public without charge.

Aleš said...

Cy Twombly's scribbles have a nicer rhythm and some calligraphic flavor, all those masses of loops seem to be designed inside the picture frame so they appear charming and ethereal. While Koons's doodles seem crude in a way an inexperienced child would do them and he just threw them somewhere on top of everything without feeling or thinking. Unless we can call that silly explanation thinking.

David Apatoff said...

AMitabh-- There is original art everywhere. Are you asking about original illustration and comic art, or any kind of art (such as Jeff Koons art)?

Kev Ferrara-- How did they end up there? And how did I miss them?

Aleš-- Sounds like a pretty persuasive explanation to me.

Untitled said...

Thank you for your suggestions. Will definitely try the Orlando one. But guess what this weekend I was going to the public library in downtown and at the museum of arts Tampa there was an Norman Rockwell exhibit! About 75 - 100 originals on display. I stayed there till I could stand up no more.
I was particularly impressed by an illustration he did when he was 20.

Untitled said...

Thanks Kev and Dave. That was me in the post above.
How can I post a image here? I found an interesting "error" in one of Norman Rockwells paintings. I love his art but its definitely a slip.

"Lubalin Redesigning the Post". In this painting, the right fore leg of the chair Lubalin is sitting on, is intertwined with the easel at which he is working. Am I mistaken or was it a slip?


kev ferrara said...

Lubalin may have done that to get closer to the board because the crossbar was blocking his chair from pulling in as far as he liked. Its pretty evident that the chair's right side is further in. I've done things like that myself.

Untitled said...

I think you may be right there Kev! It does look like hes moved in very close.

Anonymous said...

Koons is full of shit.