Plants and People

Look What's Rocking At Versailles

I was driving through the slate gray gloom of fall this morning tuned — bien sur (accent aigu, oui?) — to Morning Edition, when I heard Eleanor Beardsley's story, King of Kitsch Takes Over Versailles.

Hearing the outspoken French thrash and gnaw at the current Jeff Koons retrospective was plenty amusing, just the kind of audacious controversy the Sun King Louis XIV might have enjoyed. As he also might have delighted in Koons' whacko floral fantasy, Split Rocker.

flowering Jeff Koons' sculpture

Not an easy work to capture with one photo, Koons' fantastical creation is a 40' high stainless steel statue weighing 11 tons and covered in 90,000 flowers and plants. photo credit: jean-marc hide caption

itoggle caption photo credit: jean-marc

Split Rocker in its original form was first unveiled in 2000 at the Palais des Papes cloister in Avignon, France. As described in Art in America, it represents "the head of a child's rocking toy—half pony, half dinosaur—with large yellow "handles" protruding from each side".

As described by Koons, "I thought this is the type of work that Louix XIV would wake up and have a fantasy that he'd want to see. And he'd tell his staff and Voila! he'd come home and there would be Split Rocker".

Which explains why no one's been tending my autumnal garden. I forgot to tell the staff...

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