Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Jeff Koons gives us flowers, but it will have to pay for the vase – The World

In a sign of “brotherhood” after the attacks of 13 November, the american artist has announced on Monday that it will donate to the France of a sculpture that should be implemented in the summer of 2017 in Paris.

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The sculpture of Jeff Koons, on November 6, 2012 in New York City.

Monday, November 21, at the residence of the us ambassador to Paris, Jane D. Hartley, Jeff Koons, has announced its intention to make a gift to France of a large sculpture entitled Bouquet of Tulips. Assembly of bronze and of polished aluminum, of almost 12 metres high, and weighing about 33 tons, with its base, it is a hand hyperrealistic holding a bouquet of tulips that are much less, and should be implemented by the summer of next year on the space between the Museum of modern art of the City of Paris and the Palais of Tokyo, in the 16e district.

During the press conference, Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, welcomed. The directors of the two institutions concerned, Fabrice Hergott and Jean de Loisy, did not look displeased, and, failing to take the initiative, happy in any case to be there. The architect of buildings of France, or of historical monuments, of which one would have thought that it would be sought the notice, failure to follow, shone by its absence, or has remained very discreet.

The collector, François Pinault, himself, was in the first rank, such as former merchant in paris, Koons, Emmanuelle and Jerome de Noirmont, who, after closing their gallery, have created a structure dedicated to the production of works, and have supported the collection of funds. A sum coming, they say, patrons of the arts, is designed to fund the costs of manufacture and installation of the sculpture, for an amount of ” not provided “, but was believed to be, according to the Agence-France-presse (AFP) to € 3 million…

In fact, this is Jane D. Hartley, who is at the origin of the project. After the terrorist attacks carried out in Paris in 2015, it has requested Jeff Koons. the ” I had the memory of September 11 in New York, the surge of solidarity that followed here, and I wanted that America could return to make a gesture to the people of France. I have discussed it with several people, and the general opinion was that the only one able to represent that, it was Jeff Koons. “

” An act of love “

Koons confirmed : ” I received a phone call. I was told that the ambassador wanted to talk to me. Of course, I’m asked what my art could be relevant in this context, and what we could do. As soon as I hung up the phone, in the hours that followed, I had this idea of a hand offering flowers. This is the principle : the image of an offering, to show our solidarity, our friendship with the people of France, but also to bear witness to our grief, sharing the loss of these victims, and our support to their families. “

We were in the new york workshop of Koons a few weeks after the 11-September. It was one of the first artists to create works specially to commemorate this sad event. They were, as the bouquet of tulips, incredibly optimistic. the ” instead of an act of violence, he said, I want to propose instead an act of love. I believe that art must maintain this faith, this belief in humanity. “

Jane D. Hartley remembers to have seen, after the events of the 13 November 2015, the same resilient in Paris that she had seen once in New York. And did not hesitate to compare the hand-designed ” tulip Koons at the Statue of Liberty ” you, French, you have offered us once “.

” Links work with history “

She went to see Anne Hidalgo : ” I explained to him the idea, but also to what point the Americans, everywhere, of the Kansas farmer in the city of San Francisco, and young people especially, had been shocked, but also solidarity, the attacks of 13-November. It was a way to show you our fraternity, throughout America was behind you, and that it was not only, even if John Kerry came here to testify, a government to government relationship. “

For his part, Koons admits to being pleased to be able to give back a little of what France has given to him. His exhibition at the château de Versailles, his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, and even without rising to his presence in majesty at the exhibition “La Beauté” in Avignon in 2000, he has not forgotten.

” France is a visibility amazing for an artist. Be shown here, it is deep, full of meaning. When I was a kid, my aunt took me to Philadelphia. We went to the town hall, and there was a very large statue of William Penn. You could feel the presence of a work of art, but also the links which weaves with the story. I was so moved that I began to dream that one day I could do that. I really hope that my bouquet of tulips can be of this order. Bear witness to these values that we share, this respect for freedom. And inspire young people, make them understand that their future is in their hands, in an act of love. “


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