cultureisland: you're a big fan of jeff koons. can you share with us why?
ellen: like so many others, i could not help but wonder "who is the man behind this huge puppy made out of flowers?" before there was split-rocker, there was puppy, and, no pun intended, it planted my curiosity for and love of jeff koons. recently, i was at the new school and had the privilege of hearing koons speak. i've always loved his originality, obsession with execution, at time youthful subjects, and use of flowers, both inflatable and living, and was impressed to hear the stories behind the works. not only do his sales, auction records, retrospective at the whitney, internationally located floral sculptures and impressive list of collectors amaze, but he is showing the viewer ideas in unexpected ways. no one pushes the envelope more than he does and for that, i applaud him.
cultureisland: what are your favorite koons artworks?
ellen: in 2001 jeff koons collaborated with espresso company illy to design a limited edition set of six cups with saucers. a decade later, i saw them displayed in a family friend's home and thought "i have to have these!" fast forward to 2014, i received them for my birthday (a lucky find!), and was excited to see the artworks that inspired them at his recent retrospective at the whitney. i find koons' work reminiscent of my childhood, youth, and even drawings i once made. in this way, his easy fun series resonates with me. the flattened stainless steal "mirror" animals are both masterfully executed and yet perfectly simple shapes... all too many of which flooded our instagrams with shameless selfies captured in their reflective surfaces. i didn't miss the whitney's last night of the exhibit on sunday, october 19th when the museum stayed open for 36 straight hours.
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