Wednesday, July 9, 2014

KOONSversations @ The Whitney

All snippets overheard at the Jeff Koons retrospective 

Zeus with Sphere, Jeff Koons, blahblahblah
Boys rubs eye.
--Is that it?
--No, there's one more floor. 
Mother points down.

Kid in the stairwell: Can I sit on this? Is this a bench? 
Two girlfriends descend.
--...just the realism!
--I mean, the craftsmanship!

Two women argue over the owner of a work. 
--It's Leonard, not Ronald.

--These I like more. There's a theme to them. 

Koons Balloon Dog

A man approaches a guard.
Someone told me there was sculpture, he says.
It's trash! she stage-whispers.

Another "play" on "antiquity"

--That would be cool in the back yard.

--I like it more than I anticipated. 
--I like it more than I anticipated! 
--That's a good photo. 
They take photos before Hulk (Organ), Jeff Koons, 2004-2014 (not pictured)

--I liked the necklace heart, all the details
(Re: Hanging Heart (Violet/Gold), 1994-2006 -- not pictured)
--I don't remember it. 
--There's so much! 
Guys with Kunst by Koons (subject: basketball)

--I just keep experiencing the same feelings!

--It's the new. It's the same old thing. The vacuum cleaner is like the urinal, you know? 

--It's important that one of us knows! 
Exegesis for Gorilla

A couple enters the "Equilibrium" section of the show.
--These were famous. This is where he really took off.

In the "New" room, vacuums in plexiglass, a girl says to her friend with a dismissive wave and a sneer: My mother thought these were fascinating

Venus of Willendorf--kinda' great, my favorite

Suburban couple reading exegesis for Play-Doh, 1994-2014.
Out of the side of her mouth, she says, It's his latest
He replies, Took him 20 years. They all seem to say that. 

--Well, he has 120 assistants in his studio. 
--Where's that? Soho, or something?
--I mean, I get it. I just couldn't come home to it every day. 

--I love his stuff 'cuz it's what I would do. Take the most ridiculous stuff and the cheapest materials and--.

Hullabaloo over Bubbles
Older couple descend stairs.
--Well, you saw it.
--She said she'd won only if I liked it.

Two friends inspect Woman Reclining, 2010-14 
--This is crazy! Are those fins on are her legs?
--I've lost interest. 

Before I left the museum, I spoke with the guard who had confessed to her friend upstairs that she had found the exhibit, "trash." 
She's worked at the museum "for 18 years & 9 months."
I asked if she'll be moving downtown to the fancy new Whitney Museum just off the Highline.
"I don't think they want me," she answered. 

Koons's Popeye

All photographs by Tom Eubanks.


  1. We really just don't have anything like this in Gurnee. Thanks for sharing. Love ya!

  2. No, he's from normal parents.