It was gray all over New York City yesterday morning, except perhaps on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The latest splashy sculptures in Jeff Koons’s Celebration series make their debut at the museum today, and yesterday the artist was there to charm the press.
“He’s been very sparing in sharing his genius,” one onlooker said, noting the difference between Koons’s three color-coated, high-chromium stainless-steel works—Balloon Dog (Yellow), Coloring Book, and Sacred Heart (Red/Gold)—and previous artists’ use of the space. Unlike say, Frank Stella’s monumental architecture-inspired pieces from last summer, these sculptures play nicely with the roof, giving it a little pop without distracting from the sweeping views of Central Park and Midtown beyond.
As two minders attended to Koons’s coffee cup—he absentmindely placed it on Balloon Dog’s pedestal at one point—he set to work parrying questions in his characteristically sunny style. “It is a beautiful day,” he said, answering one particularly deft inquiry, “and I do love color.”
Jeff Koons on the Roof runs from April 22 to October 26 (weather permitting) in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Photography by Jason Polan