Jeff Koons Balloon Venus Lespugue (Red), 2013–2019 [Red version completed May 2020]
Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating
105 1/16 x 48 13/16 x 41 3/16 inches 266.9 x 124.1 x 104.7 cm
“I want every twist in that balloon sculpture to be authentic—not a simulation or an idea of a twist, but an actual twist—so that I can maintain that kind of suspension of disbelief.”
Live now on davidzwirner.com Studio: Jeff Koons featuring process videos, artist preparatory drawings, and several artist videos.
The figure of Venus, goddess of love and fertility, has long influenced Koons’s work, appearing directly since the late 1970s. Part of his Antiquity series, which he began in 2008, the artist’s interpretation of the Venus of Lespugue—a small statuette from the Paleolithic era—engages a variety of art historical reference points, from Botticelli and Titian to Duchamp and Brancusi, and, more generally, notions of beauty and form throughout time. Through an intensive, yearslong process, Koons has transposed the fetishized original, renowned for its exaggerated curves, into a towering balloon sculpture of Giacometti-esque proportions.
“I started working on Balloon Venus Lespugue in 2013, and Balloon Venus Lespugue (Red) has just been completed in 2020. The online Studio presentation is the first time the work has ever been shown to the public. Through its reflection, the sculpture will always be changing and interacting with its environment, whether in an interior space or outdoors. It represents a historic image of an object approximately 25,000 years old—yet, at the same time, is always in the moment.”
On David Zwirner now davidzwirner.com/studio-jeff-koon