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Monday, June 30, 2014

About two weeks ago, gorgeous Josette Patterson, who, with her husband Mark, designs the Mark Patterson line of jewelry, emailed to ask if she could interview me for her blog. When she sent me her questions, she began by saying, “I noticed that everyone who interviewed you asked you the same questions about your past at Lehman Brothers and your change of  career. I wanted to be different from the others and talk about your jewelry, the inspiration behind it and creativity.”

Well, I never mind talking about my career history, but it’s true that I’ve done it many times. What I’ve never done before is discuss King Tut and artist Jeff Koons, so, thanks, Josette, for asking such inspired questions. I also sent Josette a fresh photo of my taxi Maneater ring for the interview, showing one of the changes I’ve made since the last sneak peek of that ring. It was the taxi ring that inspired Josette to ask me about Jeff Koons because, as she said to me, “you put a common object on a pedestal.” Her question was well-timed, because Koons has been on my mind since I read a recent article about him in Vanity Fair, pegged to his just-opened retrospective at the Whitney Museum.

Actually, Koons has been on my mind to some extent since Lady Gaga released her ARTPOP album, with Koons-designed cover art, last fall. (Her first single from the album, “Applause,” came out last August. It includes the line, “One second I’m a Koons, then suddenly the Koons is me.”)


But the Vanity Fair story offered fresh insight into the amount of labor that goes into Koons’s creations, and I identified with that aspect of Koons’s work, because my jewelry designs also tend to be more labor-intensive than people know.  I was thinking about that article, the Whitney exhibit and Josette’s interview last Friday as I ran errands in the Diamond District. Just as I was putting a trip to the Whitney on my mental to-do list, I approached Rockefeller Center and realized that Koons had come to me! I’d missed the news that Koons had unveiled his 37-foot, part-pony/part-dinosaur “Split-Rocker” (2000) sculpture there two days before. I enjoyed the surprise, but apparently, some passersby were quite confused by the ginormous work, which is made from steel covered with 50,000 flowering plants, and weighs 150 tons.

I started taking pictures from a block away.


It’s not every day that you see something like this looking at you. (Photo by Wendy Brandes.)

I couldn’t get enough of it. I had to take another photo every few steps.


More googly-eyed creatures should be planted on New York streets. (Photo by Wendy Brandes.)

Plenty of people were posing with it.


“Split-Rocker” is so cute. (Photo by Wendy Brandes.)

I didn’t have anyone to take a picture of me, but you can see a few flowers in this selfie.


Feeling cheerful.

If you’re in New York this summer, go visit “Split-Rocker”! It will be on display through September 12. The Whitney exhibit will be open through October 19. And, no matter where you are, don’t miss my interview by Josette!


 UPDATED TO ADD: I meant to mention that Bill Cunningham’s “On the Street” feature for yesterday’s New York Times was all about Koons, both at the Whitney and at Rockefeller Center!


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5 Responses to “Having a Jeff Koons Moment”

  1. Stacy says:

    great minds think alike… you and bill!

  2. Love the taxi ring…and the interview!! I can’t even imagine the number of hours that go into creating a portable work of art like this, dear Wendy (well, maybe a little…your “behind the scenes” post featuring the bullfighter ring certainly helped!!)