Things we doubt Louis XIV envisioned

In the June/July 2014 Details, pp. 57-8, a piece by Laurence Lowe on the Jeff Koons retrospective now showing at the Whitney Museum in New York, treating four of his most iconic works: New Hoover Celebrity III’s (1980); Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988); Made in Heaven (1989); and Puppy (1992).

On the last, Koons says:

I created it for a site-specific exhibition in Bad Arolsen, Germany. There was a huge schloss in the center of town. I envisioned Louis XIV visiting it and thought, ‘If Louis lived there, what would he want to see?’ Maybe he’d wake up in the morning and want to see a sculpture, about 40 feet tall, all made of live flowers, in the shape of a dog. It was that intuitive.


(There are other installations in other places.)

Recent Koonsian postings on this blog: 6/21/14 “Streamlined Koons” and 6/28/14 “But is it art? More Jeff Koons”.

The looniness of Koons’s imagining that Louis XIV would have wanted to wake up to see a 40-foot sculpture of a dog, made of live flowers, is touching. I was reminded  of the reflections of Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling in the “Frog and Peach” comedy sketch by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore from the 1960s:

the idea for the Frog and Peach came to me in the bath. … as I was scrubbing my back with a loofah, I thought, “Where can a young couple, who are having an evening out, not too much money, and they want to have a decent meal, you know, a decent frog and a nice bit of peach, where can they go and get it?” And answer came there none. And so I had this idea of starting a restaurant specializing in these frogs legs and, er, peaches

In the middle of a bog in the heart of the Yorkshire Moors. Not a success.

Maybe a giant floral puppy would have helped business.

One Response to “Things we doubt Louis XIV envisioned”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    A commenter, whose contribution has mysteriously disappeared from this site, suggests that the Bilbao installation is much better suited for the sculpture, and with this I agree.

    Ah, Mar Rojo on Facebook:

    Looks more at home in Bilbao.

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