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After months of controversies, Jeff Koons finally unveiled his latest sculpture, “Bouquet Of Tulips,” in Paris, France. Jane Hartley, former United States Ambassador to France, commissioned the prominent artist to create the artwork in memory of the victims of the French capital witness back in 2015 and 2016. It now stands in a little park in the Petit-Palais museum. 

The sculpture displays Koons’ identifiable signatures. Balloon-esque forms, a quirky approach to human figures, and bright animated colors. The 41-foot artwork features a hand grasping, as what the title suggests, a bouquet of tulips. Only, of course, the tulips in question look more balloon than the actual flowers. From a far point of view, it looks like the hand is offering the bouquet to a higher being. But upon closer inspection, its position seems to suggest that the bouquet is supposed to cover something, probably for protection. Though some colors of the ‘tulips’ repeat, they do not share the same shade of the hue. 

A flurry of media outlets and other journalists witnessed how the artist unveiled the sculpture in early October of 2019. As they took off its white veil, a cacophony of applause and camera clicks surrounded the area. Paris’s high society elites also attended the event, congratulating the artist for a job well done. A lot of them helped commission the artwork, such as hedge funds manager Kenneth C. Griffin and private equity firm owner Leon Black. Huge conglomerates such as JP Morgan Chase, Bloomberg, and LVMH also helped sponsor the sculpture. It’s been one of the most publicized works of art in recent art history.  Even prior to its grand unveiling, the sculpture already made headlines within the art world. Some found it in poor and unnecessary taste. That while the gesture is commendable, the commissioning of millions of dollars for an art piece now is simply tone-deaf. This is especially since the piece touches on the topic of terrorism and immigration, two hot-button political issues right now. Critics also argued that the artwork was nothing more than an elite project, wherein the 1% gets to showcase their wealth in the form of a tribute. The money given here could have helped millions of people through more charitable endeavors. 

Then there was the issue of its location. Originally, the artist sought to place it by the Palais de Tokyo museum. He planned to perch it on an esplanade in front of the Eiffel Tower. However, a lot of Parisians protested the idea. For tourism’s sake, they didn’t want a foreigner’s artwork to block the scenic view of the city’s most famous monument. After months of negotiations, they settled on its current site at the Petit-Palais museum instead. Guests can visit the little park behind by the museum to see Koons’s latest artwork.  What do you think of “Bouquet Of Tulips” by Jeff Koons? Do you regard it as one of his finer works? What did you think of the gesture? Share your thoughts and reactions in our comments section below!

Image Credits:

  1. Jeff Koons Bouquet Of Tulips – TheNYPost.com
  2. Artist Jeff Koons – Lifestyle Asia.com
  3. Sculptor Jeff Koons – Reuters.com
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