Jeff Koons at the Chateau de Versailles
“There are good museums, and bad. Then there are those with the good and bad together. But the museum is a sacred entity which debars judgment.” –Le Corbusier
I love the fine arts in general. Furthermore, I love public art exhibitions; especially knowing the government is spending money on arts and not wasting it on bad investments. Public art is usually good for everyone, making art free to inspire (we hope) the people who visit them. Last year, while in Paris, I was surprised to find out that Mr. Jeff Koons’ works on display in a historical setting, the Chateau de Versailles. The French finally approved an American artist to present on this most precious historic compound, and I must say I was thrilled. I simply had to visit with the utmost respect and support for both parties: France and the United States.
I am no art critic, so while I will avoid writing about Koons’ works specifically, I would like to share my snapshots and overall thoughts on the exhibition.
The event was completely refreshing for me. Nowhere have we seen Koons’ work displayed like it was in Versailles. Usually we see his pieces in galleries and museums. What a treat it was to see the audacity of this contemporary American artist inside a historic French national treasure; it was a juxtaposition of kitsch art pieces and the Chateau’s beautiful interior details. Surprisingly for me, it worked extremely well. While viewing Koons’ works throughout the chateau, I felt as if they were a part of the private collection of the chateau’s original owners.
I also loved that the exhibit was uplifting to the viewers—offering a certain fantasy, allowing us to escape the challenging and often depressing current events, putting us in an imaginary world. It was light, airy, effervescent, and dreamlike. I almost felt like Alice in Wonderland.
It was not my first time visiting the Chateau de Versailles, but I noticed its brightness and layers of rich colors even more than before. This is due not only to the recent renovations, but also to the bright subject matters and bold graphic sensibilities of Koons’ work.
I hope Versailles will continue hosting various art exhibits. Even if it doesn’t, the memory of this special day will remind me to revisit the Chateau de Versailles more and more.