simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Koons Balloons
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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Koons Balloons

On May 23, 2006, the new 7 World Trade Center was completed. The developer, Larry A. Silverstein, presided over the ceremonies (which included a free, two-hour concert featuring Lou Reed and Suzanne Vega) and unveiled this sculpture - Balloon Flower (Red) by internationally acclaimed artist, Jeff Koons. It sits in a fountain in a small triangular plaza outside 7 WTC, bounded by Greenwich Street, Vesey Street and West Broadway. The park, designed by landscape architect Ken Smith (surrounded by azaleas, boxwood and sweet gum trees), overlooks ground zero (seen in the background of the photo) where the Freedom Tower is being built. Koons has done a number of balloon animal inspired sculptures. In fact, the one shown in the night photo is identical to three others: a blue version at Marlene-Dietrich-Platz in Berlin, Germany, a silver one in the Max Hetzler gallery and Balloon Flower (Magenta) at the home of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky in Dallas Texas. Although the 9-foot sculpture is made from stainless steel, the red color and balloon motif gives the work a light, playful feel - intentional on the part of Koons as a counterpoint to the somber nature of the setting ...

Interesting note: For a time, Koons was married to Hungarian born, Italian porn star Ilona Staller (stage name Cicciolina). She served a term in the Italian parliament (1987-1992) - the first hardcore porn star in the world to be elected to a democratic parliament. During their marriage, Koons made a controversial series of paintings, photos and sculptures Made in Heaven, showing the couple in explicit sexual positions.


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