Jeff Koons @ Almine Rech

There is something oddly appealing about the current display of Jeff Koons new work at Almine Rech on Grosvenor Hill. The exhibition comprises of two sculptures, some ready mades and the beguiling ‘Gazing Ball’ series.

The Gazing Ball works are made up of 50 images, although just a select handful are on display in London. They comprise paintings that Koons believes have had such a significant effect on him that they have ‘transformed his DNA.’ On top of these reconstructions, Koons has added a single blue glass ball. This shining orb reminds me of a crystal ball. However, the artist believes that the ball, which allows the viewer to see their reflection inside of it, unites the spectator to engage with the work as they can see themselves in it.

The mysterious mirrored spheres have been placed into the landscapes of Titian and Tintoretto as well as among scenes by Jacques-Louis David, Giotto and Poussin. It seems utterly ridiculous to have something so shiny adorning the work of the Old Masters however, for me at least, it seems to work as it forces you to work out exactly why two seemingly very different genres have been married together.

Also on display in the new gallery are two larger than life ballerinas. These glass beauties are also mirrored and provide an interesting contrast to the old masters they seem to be dancing for.

This show allows the viewer to see the Old Masters in a new light and is also a refreshing new take on Koons’ oeuvre.

Jeff Koons is on display at Almine Rech until 21 January 2017

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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