Celebrated Artist Jeff Koons Inflated 45-Foot-High ‘Seated Ballerina’ At Rockefeller Center To Offer ‘Hope’

Celebrated pop art master Jeff Koons installed a 45-foot-high, inflatable woman entitled Seated Ballerina at New York City’s famed Rockefeller Center. The sculpture is placed on a seven-and-a-half foot base.

With his third installation at Rockefeller Center, the famed artist said he created the sculpture to offer hope during the recent darker times in America. The installation was unveiled on May 12 and will be on display until June 2.

Inspired by a turn of the century Russian factory ballerina, Koons created a seven-foot sculpture replica of Seated Ballerina in a stainless steel and colored coating. In addition, Koons created a limited edition of 50 in a hand-painted, wood, 18-inch version.

Seated Ballerina is like a Venus. You could be looking at a Venus of Willendorf or some of the oldest Venuses. It is really about beauty and even a sense of contemplation, a sense of ease.”

Jeff Koons spoke to The Hollywood Reporter that this pop art sculpture was created for hope and optimism.

“When you are in the presence of it, you feel hope and optimism for your future, the hope that people can have in knowing they have potential. Art is not the object. Art is inside the viewer. That’s the only thing that’s ever of value.”

One of his more famous Rockefeller Center installations, the 1999 Balloon Dog looked like it was a big balloon, but it was made out of metal. Seated Ballerina looks like it is metallic and heavy, but instead, it is a balloon, and light and airy like a ballerina. Four years ago, Koons sold Balloon Dog through Christies New York, for an astounding $58.4 million. Seated Ballerina is expected to fetch $60,000-$80,000. Already, some the wooden replicas have been auctioned for an amount just over $115,000.

In addition to Balloon Dog and Seated Ballerina, Koons also installed Split-Rocker, a magnificent 37-foot planter sculpture with over 50,000 flowering plants, again at Rockefeller Center in 2000.

Art Production Fund executive director, Casey Fremont told Art Net that Koon’s biggest talent is to create normal objects and put a modern, unexpected twist on them.

“Jeff has an interest in looking at objects from everyday life and looking at them from a different perspective.”

The biggest challenge of this piece is that a harsh wind could lift the installation, and suddenly the city of New York is paralyzed from this unpredictable situation. They already have plans to deflate the sculpture if the weather becomes dangerously unpredictable.

“It’s challenging in that it has unpredictable qualities, but we’ve talked through pretty much every scenario and we’re well prepared.”

Jeff Koons 52-foot-tall, inflatable nylon sculpture ‘Seated Ballerina’ is installed in Rockefeller Center, in the heart of New York City. [Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]

Although unexpected in pop art, the common theme of Jeff Koons is meditative contemplation.

“I hope the installation of “Seated Ballerina at Rockefeller Center offers a sense of affirmation and excitement to the viewer to reach their potential. The aspect of reflectivity emulates life’s energy; it’s about contemplation and what it means to be a human being. It’s a very hopeful piece.”

Koons has been quite busy of late. He just released a series specially designed bags for Louis Vuitton. Channeling the pop art Yoda, Andy Warhol, Koons took inspiration from works by such masters as da Vinci, Rubens, and Titian, and modernized them by writing the names of the masters using graphic colors and turned them into fashionable leather clutches and duffel bags for $4,000.

Meant to put a smile on faces and hope in hearts, ‘Seated Ballerina’ could help lighten the current mood. [Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Right now, some of his art is more affordable. In conjunction with the installation, Koons created a tin replica of Seated Ballerina that is free with a purchase of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Collection of anti-aging skin treatments. Those prices start around $30.00 all the way up to $125.00. According to Koons, one hundred percent of the profits will go to help missing and exploited children.

“This partnership will increase awareness and help the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children make the world a safer place for children.”

Have you seen any of Jeff Koons’ Rockefeller Center installations?

[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]

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