I get REALLY excited whenever I’m invited to blogger events in Norwich for 2 reasons. One is that I remember back when I started my blog in 2008 I spent some time searching for other Norwich bloggers, and as far as I could work out there weren’t any. It was just me, blogging all alone. It probably wasn’t, but I couldn’t find the others, so meeting other bloggers in Norwich is all a bit exciting!
The other reason is that I often get invited to “pop in” to blogger events and press days in London, and a 4 hour round trip on the train is a little beyond the remit of “pop in”, and it would have to be a HELL of a goodie bag to make it worth the £60 train fare, so I rarely get to go. All of which means when Norwich brands and businesses want to work with bloggers I get VERY excited.
So this morning at 9am I was drinking coffee and eating pastries in the rather lovely Norwich Castle Museum.
I was also taking Koons Selfies in the photobooth created by the Koons Collaborative.
You’re supposed to hug the pig, it’s based on Koons Art Magazine Ads from the late 80s, but at this point I hadn’t seen the artworks, so I posed wrong. Bad me.
You can just about see the piggie original at the end of this row of pictures.
I’m not a big art buff, and my knowledge of Jeff Koons was pretty much restricted to “Hey, isn’t he the guy who makes the big balloon dogs?”, I love those big balloon dogs, so the exhibition was great to find out a little more about the man who has broken records for the most amount of money paid for an artwork by a living artist.
The exhibition in Norwich Castle is the only chance to see Koons work exhibited in the UK in 2015 and features a selection of key pieces from each of his major series of work.
It starts with his earliest works, which, I will be completely honest, aren’t to my taste. Yes, I understand that maybe it’s a commentary on consumer culture. They are supposed to be suspended forever in a state of perfection and “newness”. I just see a hoover in a plastic box. I am a luddite. *hangs head in shame*
Much more to my taste were the super kitschy and bright later works. I love how high levels of craftsmanship are employed to create versions of such mundane and every day items, as well as just how bright and generally awesome they look. If I lived in a large white New York loft with lots of space instead of a small Victorian Norwich terrace with not enough room for my furniture I would totally have this art in it. Well, I would have if I could afford the multi million dollar price tag, which I am assuming will be no problem by the time I get my New York loft.
The coloured mirrors are in the shape of animals, and have to be positioned so they reflect another of Koons works, so they can’t be exhibited in isolation as part of another collection. Here they reflect a marble bust of Koons and his wife, portrayed as Venus. Apparently there are some rather rude works in that collection that weren’t part of the Norwich Castle exhibition!
Know what else they reflect?
My absolute favourite piece was called Caterpillar (with chains) from 2002. It’s made of Aluminium, but I swear on my life I was standing right next to it and it still looks like a giant inflatable, right down to the warnings printed underneath and the nozzle to inflate it.
It’s pretty cool to have such a major exhibition in Norwich (and even cooler that they threw a special bloggers event to let us see it!), a ticket to get into the whole castle costs just £8.35 for adults, if you want to see the special exhibition only then it’s £6, and if you show up an hour before they close (which is at 5pm) then you can get in for just £2.
The exhibition was featured in CNNs list of the top 19 events worth travelling for, so if you live in Norwich you really should pop in before the 6th September and have a look, and if you don’t live in Norwich, hey, come visit!
The ARTIST ROOMS: Jeff Koons exhibition runs till 6th September, find out more on the Norwich Museums website.