Jeff Koons in Florence

The old palace meets new art. As a part of the International Antique Fair of Florence, Pluto and Persephone and Barberbini Faun of the Gazing Ball series by Jeff Koons are brought to Florence. As an exhibition named Jeff Koons in Florence, these two works will be on display in Palazzo Vecchio until December 28th of 2015.

Pluto and Persephone is a three meter high stainless steel sculpture that refers to the Rape of Proserpina by a 17th century artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It is located between two Renaissance masterpieces, the copy of Michelangelo’s David and Donatello’s Judith and Holofernes.

Another one, the Barberbini Faun is placed in the Room of the Lilies inside Palazzo Vecchio. This Barberbini Faun is a part of Jeff Koons’ Gazing Ball project. The Gazing Ball is a series of plaster copies of antique sculptures each with a blue stainless steel ball he added. The blue ball, in his words, symbolizes a philosopher’s gaze that starts with transcendence through senses and seeks the eternal through pure forms and ideas.

There is no better word than juxtaposition to talk about having the works of Jeff Koons in Florence. His signature, the colorful shiny surface of these two sculptures creates a sharp contrast with marble and bronze sculptures from hundreds years ago. At the same time, it reflects those masterpieces, and Jeff Koons looked back at the antique art as the renaissance artists did. Thereby, his works engage in a dialogue with history and the artists as Jeff Koons says has been looking forward to feel such connection with artists.

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