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Inflatables

 

"When these inflatables are placed on stage, they continue to radiate that optimism of the inflated self. When you take a deep breath, it’s a symbol of life and optimism, and when you take your last breath, that last exhale is a symbol of death. If you see an inflatable deflated, it’s a symbol of death. These are the opposite".

Jeff Koons moved to New York in 1977 and began working on sculptural objects that reflected city life. He found his inflatables, simple decorative toys, from discount shops in downtown Manhattan. They are reminiscent of Dalí´s Surrealism and, most of all, of Marcel Duchamp´s readymades. Thanks to the artist Ed Paschke, Koons became more aware of using source material from the everyday world. These pieces with dual significance—for example, there are male flowers and female flowers—contain references to the art of Donald Judd and especially to the mirrors of Robert Smithson, which Koons uses as surfaces that multiply space and, by extension, social reality, while also drawing spectators into it by showing them their own reflections in the piece.

Inflatable Flower and Bunny (Tall White, Pink Bunny), 1979
Vinyl, mirrors
81.3 x 63.5 x 48.3 cm
The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica
© Jeff Koons