Take that hideous thing outside

I was going to apologize for this being a “lazy” post because it’s mainly photos but then I remembered that photography is a legitimate art form. So I withdraw the apology that I have not offered. If you’ll allow me a moment of bloated egoism, I think some of these pics are fetching.

Winter approaches and it’s time to bid adieu to outdoor art exhibits. I love the monstrosities that some artists create and I’ll miss them. Here are the last two works until spring.

Our old pal Jeff Koons will be selling another balloon animal at Christie’s fall contemporary art auction. This time, it’s Balloon Monkey (Orange), estimated to sell for $20,000,000-$30,000,000.


It doesn’t look much like a monkey at all, whereas his balloon dogs look like…well…dogs.


Before each auction, they hold free previews in the gallery. If a show of that caliber opened at MoMA, the line would stretch down 54th Street to 5th Avenue. I don’t understand why more people don’t take advantage.


This isn’t the first Koons sculpture to appear in front of Christie’s Rockefeller Center location. A while back, there was a balloon dog and some tulips.


Admiring the art deco frieze.




I like the reactions. Tourists and New Yorkers alike scrunch their faces into fists of incomprehension. Can you blame them? The real fun starts when they see the auction estimate. I find these pieces tremendous fun but am depressed that someone would (and could) pay that kind of money for something like this. Rich people are certifiably insane. It’s a FACT.


 Another day at the office.


Cop scopes bad asses and robbers.


I’ll follow-up with my semi-annual auction post in mid-November. Y’all come back now! Ya hear?


This piece is in the plaza at Lincoln Center. It’s in front of the fountains.

solar5 solar4

I had to double-up on my pics because the exposures were so different. Due to the inherent limitations of my iPhone, I could only take a picture of the image on the screen OR the plaza, but not both simultaneously. I think each result is equally interesting.

solar7 solar3

Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) 2014, by Irish artist John Gerrard, is giant LED wall that re-creates a Nevada solar thermal power plant and the surrounding desert.


The image situates the sun, moon and stars as they would appear at the actual Nevada site over the course of a year. The view slowly morphs from ground to satellite image every 60 minutes. The view is constantly, albeit, very slowly, changing throughout the course of the exhibit. It might be more interesting if they sped up the movement a bit. You don’t see much change just standing there.


Interesting aside: That sign you see at the bottom are LED lights embedded into the steps leading up to the Plaza. There’s a whole series of them. They scroll upcoming Lincoln Center events and the word “welcome” in multiple languages.



My colleague at work saw The Ramones at Vassar when she was a teenager. I’d pay a significant amount of money to watch The Ramones play in front of an audience of Vassar co-eds. Who wouldn’t?

49 thoughts on “Take that hideous thing outside

  1. I can’t get into Koons. It’s too glossy and superficial. It doesn’t say anything to me.

    I’m surprised the City puts art pieces which fetch 30 million a time out into the street. It’s a great idea but a bit risky I’d have thought.

    • Koons’ work certainly isn’t practical. I’ll give you that much. Where are you going to put something like that?! It’s ridiculous.

      It’s funny…I thought the EXACT SAME THING about leaving them out in the open with just a few security guards milling about looking like they couldn’t care less. And here’s the kicker…this piece will remain outside, 24/7, until the auction in mid-November. What’s to prevent someone from taking a hammer to it?

      • Well, I might not like the artwork much but it hope it all survives till then. No doubt you’ll be back with the actual prices, for us to shake our heads at.

  2. OK, definitely head turning – but once your head is turne what is the message? Personally I don’t see a message. Oh, well, I don’t have the millions either so I guess that’s good.

    Thanks for the look see Mark. Cool post, but I don’t think I’ll be buying one of the artworks anythime soon.

    • Any phallic imagery is purely unintentional and entirely in the eye of the beholder.

      I also like to work ‘brilliant,’ ‘as well’ and ‘smashing’ into my vernacular in order to sound more Britich. I was born on the wrong continent and in the wrong era.

      • Did you know ‘smashing’ comes from the Irish ‘Is maith sin’ (meaning ‘that is good’), and pronounced, well, ‘smashin’!? 😉

      • My favourite is “chuffed”. I don’t use it enough in my daily speech, methinks. 🙂

        By the way I seem to be challenged to comment on your blog anywhere except on my computer. The wordpress app doesn’t like me talking to you. So apologies for the absence. I’m here, reading, always.

      • I had to “approve” this comment! I wonder why? It’s not as though you’ve never commented here before. What’s my blog trying to tell me? What’s the harm?

        I forgot about “chuffed.” That’s a good one although, admittedly, I’m not quite sure what the proper pronunciation is. Does it start with the “ch” sound or is it a hard “k?”

  3. So we are trying to make “fetching” happen now?

    Yeah, the monkey isn’t my cuppa tea. Give me millions of dollars and the place for one of the balloon dogs or snakes, then we’re talking!

    That monkey should be a porn star. Speaking of which, wasn’t Koons once married to La Cicciolina? Why isn’t she a work of art worth 30 million bucks? Admittedly she’ll deterioriate more quickly than that monkey, but at least she moves around and says funny stuff.

  5. Love the pictures — a true art form. And I don’t even have to pay $1 mill for them! (The rich are certifiable — $30 M????? It’s just not that much fun)

  6. I now think that the clowns hired to make balloon animals at kids’ birthday parties are a tad underpaid, Mark. 20 to 30 mill for that stuff. Like you, the money part of it takes whatever artistry might be hiding out in the way back away for me.

    How many of the Vassar co-eds took ’em up the song and got sedated?

    • The money part, oddly enough, doesn’t spoil the fun for me. In some strange way, it adds to the carnival atmosphere. It’s too strange to take seriously.

      Vassar is the LEAST likely
      venue for The Ramones. Talk about a carnival!

  7. Those sculptures are wonderful. I first read this post on my phone earlier today because I’m traveling, but I couldn’t see the pics well. Now I’m on my iPad and can see them better. That’s the kind of fun art I enjoy. I suppose I shouldn’t admit that…

  8. i hope the monkey is purchased by someone who lives west of me on Interstate 70. i would LOVE to see that li’l fella being hauled on an oversize flatbed trailer across town…

  9. I want to live inside your posts, the crazy balloon animals and all. By the way, I would totally buy that if I was rich, and then I would likely try to fly it out of a skyscraper, cause drunk and high…

  10. Photographs the lazy way out? Not in my neck of the woods. Some days it’s a flippin’ miracle.
    You should be commended.
    I know you are something of Anglophile – you may like my latest post which is nothing if not British.

    • What did Rod Steward say? Every picture tells a story? Okay, then. We can save ourselves a lot of time if we’d just reduce all our posts to lovely photographs.

      Calling me “something” of an Anglophile is like accusing water of being wet. I’ll be right over.

  11. Please let us know who actually buys it. I find it weird. Prices that high are just sort of like astronomy facts to me. Like light years and distant galaxies. I’m not entirely sure it’s real at all, my brain can’t comprehend it.

  12. Pingback: Little Bo Peep lost her sheep and now it’s floating in a tank of formaldehyde | Exile on Pain Street

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