Jeff Koons: The Infamous “Made In Heaven” Series

Jeff Koons: The Infamous “Made In Heaven” Series

Twenty years ago, Jeff Koons made waves with his Made in Heaven series of paintings and sculptures when he first showed the work at the Venice Biennale.  To coincide with the anniversary of the work’s 1990 premiere in Venice, the New York City gallery Luxembourg & Dayan is opening the exhibition Jeff Koons: Made in Heaven Paintings on October 6th, 2010.

The works from Made in Heaven disappeared from public view for many years.  The original show was criticized severely in the press, and there was also the matter that Koons and IIona Staller, his wife and model for the work, split up in 1992, shortly after the birth of their son, Ludwig.  Koons destroyed much of the work when Staller took Ludwig away to Italy, and the two have been embroiled in legal battles ever since.

In 1997, Koons twice postponed and ultimately canceled his show of this work at the Guggenheim.  In those years, Koons was still very raw from the divorce and the child-custody issues.  Nevertheless, he has always maintained that this is his most important body of work, the most radical, the most risky and the most sincere.  Yet he was so conflicted about it because of what was unfolding in real life that he’d change his mind every week about presenting it.

Now it seems that Koons is finally making peace with the series.  He gave his blessing to include several Made in Heaven paintings and sculptures in the Pop Life group show at the Tate Modern in London last year.  And now he’s agreed to have the Luxembourg & Dayan show.

Additional pieces from the series, not suitable for presentation on this site, can be viewed here.

Jeff Koons: Made in Heaven

Queen: Made In Heaven

Slide Show: The Infamous “Made In Heaven” Series

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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Spin Cycle: The Magic of Wonder Bread

Jeff Koons: Wonder Bread

I recently posted an article about Jeff Scher’s experimental short film Still Loaf with Guitar. Spin Cycle is a companion piece; both are earlier films in the series of works illustrating his long-term creative fascination with the illusion of motion via animation. Exploiting the visually symbolic nature of white bread, Scher created a panorama of color and optical effects in both of the films.

Comprised of 78 paintings on paper, Spin Cycle features a single slice of Wonder Bread rotating in limbo. As the film advances, Scher adds layers of paint and collage to the individual frames and then re-photographs them. The result is a film that blooms with the successive additions of color and texture until the image evolves into a dense and challenging cinematic experience.

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Spin Cycle: The Magic of Wonder Bread

Animation by: Jeff Scher

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