InSian Gallery

Balloon Flower

1995|Mirror-polished Stainless Steel with Transparent Color Coating|287.5x335x267 cm

'I have always enjoyed flowers. Since taking art lessons as a child, I have had flowers in my work. I always like the sense that a flower just displays itself. The viewer always finds grace in a flower. Flowers are a symbol that life goes forward' (Koons, quoted in M. Codognato & E. Geuna (ed.), Jeff Koons,, Naples, 2003, p. 157).

Jeff Koons' Celebration series is aptly named. Looking at the gleaming and vast perfection of Balloon Flower (Blue), the ultimate Koonsian trophy, one cannot help but be awed and enthused by the mixture of humour, beauty and humanity, as well as the crazy scale. Koons has taken a childlike vision, blown it up in size and cast it in seemingly indestructible steel, a far cry from the fragile membrane of the all-too-burstable balloons it is based on. The dignity, the formal beauty, of this glistening mass of curves is gleefully deflated by its deliberately infantile subject matter. Balloon Flower (Blue) is a monument to nostalgia and to the wide-eyed awe with which children see the world. And, as is so often the case with Koons' works, it is so much more: Balloon Flower (Blue) provides the viewer with a thrilling and sensuous image of the pristine that is at the same time rife with strange tensions between lightness and weight, between the ephemeral and the eternal, even between irony and earnestness, and with references to childhood and, to top it all, to sexuality.

© Jeff Koons