Jeff Koons Invades Versailles
Art world provocateur Jeff Koons has ruffled feathers in France by installing his immense, kitschy statues in the storied Palace of Versailles. The groundbreaking exhibition, which opened Wednesday and runs through December, features 17 Koons works including a giant balloon dog, enormous aluminum lobster, and a ceramic ode to Michael Jackson and his pet chimp Bubbles. As my colleague Deidre Woollard reported previously, Koons' 3,500 lb. Hanging Heart sculpture fetched $23.4 million at auction in November.
The opening of the exhibition drew a crowd of protestors who consider the Koons show an affront to France. "This exhibit is sacrilegious and insulting to the symbols of the Republic and its art," Arnaud-Aaron Upinsky, president of the Union Nationale des Ecrivains de France, fumed to the AP. However Koons insists he has "complete respect for Versailles [and] complete respect for each individual coming to Versailles."