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Alex Israel and Egg by Jeff Koons

from February 23 2012 until August 24 2014

Baroque Egg with Bow (Orange/Magenta), 1994-2008, and Sky Backdrop by Alex Israel, 2013, Bert Kreuk Collection. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg. Baroque Egg with Bow (Orange/Magenta), 1994-2008, and Sky Backdrop by Alex Israel, 2013, Bert Kreuk Collection. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg. Baroque Egg with Bow (Orange/Magenta), 1994-2008, and Sky Backdrop by Alex Israel, 2013, Bert Kreuk Collection. Photo: Lotte Stekelenbur.

The Baroque Egg with Bow (Orange/Magenta) will be exhibited until the 24th of August in the museum’s entrance area. The enormous Easter egg was unveiled in February 2012 under the watchful eye of the press and curious visitors. Since June 2013, the work 'Sky Backdrop' by Alex Israel complements the Barogue Egg.

The work ‘Sky Backdrop’ by Alex Israel acts as a background to the famous egg by Jeff Koons. The painting, which has a widescreen format of 16:9, transforms the artwork in front of it into a sort of stage prop. When this prop disappears only the flat backdrop, in this case ‘Sky Backdrop’, remains. Israel believes that because the flat backdrop once acted as a background, it still carries the sad memory of this function with it, just like a fallen movie star. Israel takes his inspiration from his fascination for the Hollywood culture and especially from the idea that the magic of Hollywood has the power to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

The Egg

‘Baroque Egg with Bow (Orange/Magenta)’ (1994-2008) by the American artist Jeff Koons (1955) is an enormous ‘Easter Egg’ with a magenta bow. The giant object measures six m2, weighs two thousand kilos and is worth millions of Euros. Koons made ten eggs in a period of fourteen years. Each egg represents more than a year’s work by several experts. Rumours suggest that Koons almost bankrupted himself with the production of his eggs. Each work is executed to perfection, down to the very last detail. The coating of the eggs has been applied layer by layer by hand, in order to achieve as glossy an effect as possible. This technique is derived from the automotive industry.

Watch the film on the Egg arriving at the museum.

Stimuli

Five of the ten eggs have a smooth surface: the so-called ‘Smooth Eggs’. The other five are called ‘Baroque Eggs’ and look as if they are packed in crumpled foil; the egg on show in Rotterdam is from this series. At first glance, the design seems banal, but refers to ideas such as (re)birth and fertility, recurring themes in the artist’s work. The egg, in common with other works by its maker, stimulates various senses. (No touching allowed)

No single egg belongs to a museum collection. All Koons’ eggs - with one exception, which is still in the possession of the artist - belong to important private collections, such as those of collectors François Pinault and Damien Hirst. Both the work by Israel and by Koons are on loan at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen from collector Bert Kreuk.

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons is famous for his enormous objects such as gigantic rabbits and religious pigs - several years ago, a scandal blew up in the Stedelijk Museum about this pig. Koons is a master of enlarging everyday objects to enormous proportions. His ‘new-pop-art type’ works are uncritical blow ups of the consumer society. In his creations, he brings together high and low culture in objects that are seductive, but at the same time überkitsch. His New York studio, where more than 80 people work, is reminiscent (as, too, is his work) of Andy Warhol and his Factory in the sixties.

Other works

Other well-known sculptures from the ‘Celebration Series’ are: ‘Balloon Dog’, ‘Hanging Heart’ and ‘Diamond’. This series also includes, in addition to sculptures, a number of oil paintings. The Celebration works have previously been shown in places such as Versailles (Paris), Neue National Galerie (Berlin) and on the roof of The Metropolitan Museum (New York).

With thanks to the Bert Kreuk Collection.