Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Debate about Jeff Koons's Michael Jackson and Bubbles

On Facebook, SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) Curator Janet Bishop posed a question for SFMOMA fans: "Does Jeff Koons’s sculptural immortalization of Michael Jackson and his pet take on new meaning in the wake of the superstar’s death?" She invited fans to share thoughts.

There was a lively discussion on this iconic piece of work.

Most people disliked the work and ridiculed the sense of "new meaning." People called it kitsch and sentimental memorial to the late Michael Jackson. But no new meaning. People even suggested to have it melted or sold. Sentiment as strong as loathing towards the work was expressed as well.

After these discussions, our curator posted below message
SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
"Wowzers - absolutely no love for MJ and Koons! Is there anyone out there willing to come to the defense of this magnificently gilded homage?"

Still, it didn't incite much fondness. Most people apparently have no attachment to this piece of work. But, at least two people liked it and realized its significance as an artifact from a particular time. Peo0le also commended on Koons because this creation apparently has generated strong opinions which could not be overlooked.

At this time, I chimed in: "It is a provocative piece of work but not artwork. It belongs to anthropology or sociology museum, but not art museum. Please sell it or exchange it for real art."

Someone asked me why I don't feel that it is not artwork.

I gave the below answer to my fellow SFMOMA fan:
Because the cynicism of the creator of that "sculpture" was so overwhelming that I cannot look beyond my impression that the artist created this piece of work in order to shock, sicken or antagonize, or endear. It was not made out of some artistic conviction.

I'm not denying the value of this piece of work - as I said
before - it is a good survey and representation of the society we live in, but hardly art. It composed of one simple message. Can you imagine that listening to a song in the exact one note? Even minimalism has certain variations of colors, dynamics and tempos to express something more."

Finally, I added:
"Isn't it safe to say that whatever Thomas Kinkade creates is not art?"

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