A Google Nexus, to be exact. (Those of us with iPhones are, sadly, out of luck.) The work, commissioned by Google, marks the first time the internet giant has partnered with a visual artist on a tech accessory. It also marks the first time Koons has experimented with video. The American artist created a series of 33 choreographed scenes from the classic 1875–76 ballet Swan Lake to be incorporated into a limited edition Google Live Case. When snapped onto a Nexus, these cases offer a set of phone backgrounds and additional content that cannot be accessed anywhere else.
Koons’s live wallpapers feature two dancers—Ashley Laracey and Troy Schumacher of the New York City Ballet—pirouetting and pliéing with his gazing ball in hand. The “Gazing Ball” series dates back to 2013, when Koons first paired these reflective blue baubles with blindingly white classical sculptures. In his show at Gagosian Gallery
in New York last November, these spheres found their way into iconic paintings: ’s Mona Lisa
(1503-1517), ’s Déjeuner sur l’Herbe
(1862-1863), ’s Raft of the Medusa
(1818-1819), and ’s Self-Portrait Wearing a Hat
(1640) among them.