American Artist Jeff Koons Loans U.S. Embassy Beijing "Good Luck"

Posted by Virginia Shore
June 11, 2010
Jeff Koons' Tulips on Display at U.S. Embassy Beijing

About the Author: Virginia Shore serves as Chief Curator for ART in EMBASSIES.

A sculpture on loan to U.S. Embassy Beijing by American artist Jeff Koons appears on Google's home page as a background image available for users to download. He's one of 30 artists whose work comprises "Landscapes of the Mind," a permanent collection installed in the new embassy complex in 2008.

Like so many of their predecessors, the American artists in the embassy's collection are inspired by China's philosophy, calligraphy, ceramics, ornamentation, architecture, religion and culture.

“Art to me is a humanitarian act and I believe that there is a responsibility that art should somehow be able to affect mankind, to make the world a better place,” says Koons.

Jeff Koons' monumental sculpture Tulips, from his "Celebrations" series, symbolizes good luck in Chinese. Botanical history tells that tulips originated in a corridor stretching along the 40 degree latitude between Northern China and Southern Europe. Blown up to fantastical proportion and weighing over seven tons, the stainless steel flowers, seemingly in need of water, rise out of the embassy's lotus pond.

Koons and Dale Chihuly, another of Google's featured artists, participate in the State Department Art in Embassies program. Together, they have loaned work for nearly 50 U.S. embassies in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Comments

Comments

OysterCracker
|
United States
June 12, 2010

O.C. in U.S.A. writes:

He titled his work "Tulips". I thought they were colorful maracas.

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
June 14, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

They look like Popsicles to me!

Art is like a sewer. It isn't what you get out of it. It's what you put into it.

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
June 14, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

Correction: Art is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.

Lord I need an editor sometimes.

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
June 15, 2010

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

I love Jeff Koons' work. This was really great to read.

OysterCracker
|
United States
June 15, 2010

O.C. in U.S.A. writes:

Flavius,
A chartreuse popsicle. What flavor might that be?

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
June 15, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

@O.C.:

Have you never heard of chartreuse liquore?

OysterCracker
|
United States
June 16, 2010

O.C. in USA writes:

No, I haven't. It sounds really yummy though.

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
June 16, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

Thank you for this posting. I studied art and taught it for many years. I have had the privilege to visit many of the great art museums of the world. The creation of a work of art is very personal and very emotional. One's reaction to a work of art is usually very subjective. However, whether you like a piece of art work or not, one should at least appreciate the creativity and, yes, the hard work that has gone into it's creation. Every student I taught or worked with took their art very seriously. I personally like Jeff Koons "Tulips". Some of the comments made here have been ridiculous and disrespectful, if not downright stupid.

OysterCracker
|
United States
June 18, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Susan,
I disagree. If art results in controversy or communication then its fulfilled its purpose. I think your notion of art seems somewhat limited. What would Jeff Koons say?

.

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