by Noah Becker - photos by Michael Anderson
Whitehot Magazine attended Jeff Koons' unveiling of his “Tulips” sculpture outside Christie’s at 200 Rockefeller Plaza on Election Day, November 6th 2012, bright and early around 11am. After snapping some pictures and chatting with Koons, my camera person and I went for breakfast at the Roxy Delicatessen in Times Square. My meal was Nova Scotia lox and eggs and my associate had sausages and eggs with a bagel. I don't recall if I ordered coffee but anything is possible...
The timing of the Koons unveiling comes in the midst of post-hurricane Sandy chaos. The unveiling also took place on the morning of Election Day where America subsequently re-elected Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. All these environmental factors brought forth questions of timing and audacity. Perhaps Jeff Koons' sense of detail and perfection does not extend to the sensitive nature of events, or maybe the date could not be postponed to a less tragic time. Either way it was a wonderful sight during a time of terror, death and trauma in New York.
If artists or auction houses are required to directly bear the responsibility of their surroundings, or offer escapism to the public, is an ongoing discussion in art circles. In any case I’m still a fan of Jeff Koons work and was pleased to escape with him to Koons-land. There was also an exceptional auction of Andy Warhol happening inside Christie's which was no accident of timing.
"Tulips” is part of Jeff Koons' “Celebration” a series known for its attention to detail and time consuming fabrication process. The “Celebration” series is sixteen paintings and twenty sculptures. Koons says “Art is a humanitarian act. Art should be able to affect mankind, to make the world a better place.”
Noah Becker is an artist and the publisher and founding editor of Whitehot Magazine. He shows his paintings internationally at museums and galleries. Becker also plays jazz saxophone. Becker's writing has appeared in The Guardian, VICE, Garage, Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art and the Huffington Post. He has written texts for major artist monographs published by Rizzoli and Hatje Cantz. Becker directed the New York art documentary New York is Now (2010). Becker's new album of original music "Mode For Noah" was released in 2023.
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