Last weekend, I got to experience a very special treat. Nicholas Wells, a reporter for the New York Press, invited me to the opening of the 20 year anniversary exhibit of Jeff Koon's controversial body of work "Made in Heaven", which premiered at the Venice Biennale in 1990.
I had never seen the paintings and sculptures from the series outside of reproductions in books. They are HUGE. The narrow gallery made things especially intimate. . . You really do stick your nose right in their business. Koons (an alma mater of MICA just like Colby) worked on Wall Street as a commodities broker before he started making art.
"Made in Heaven" is a product of his brief marriage to Italian porn star Ciccolina, "Cuddles". Born in Hungry, Ciccolina (Ilona Staller) also made history as a porn star cum politician. Famous for her topless press conferences, she made headlines shortly before the onset of the first Gulf War by offering her body to Saddam Hussein in an attempt to broker peace.
A little timid by today's standards, "Made in Heaven" is obviously fraught in more ways than one. . . You can read more of my thoughts HERE. I suggest everyone buck up and read it. The article is very good. I come across sounding quite smart! :-)
My favorite from the series is "Red Butt" (pictured below). You can't really tell with such a small jpg, but Ciccolina is suffering from some pretty raunchy razor burn.