Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Poussin The Triumph of Pan), 2015-2016. Courtesy of Gagosian.

Jeff Koons: Gazing Balls

The provocative Pop artist Jeff Koons began his “Gazing Balls” series in 2013, affixing mirrored blue hand-blown glass balls to replicas of classical sculptures. In 2015, Koons expanded the motif to paintings and prints, adding blue spheres to recreations of his favorite two-dimensional masterpieces, which include Édouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass (1862–1863) and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (1503–1506). While the replicated painting or sculpture makes reference to the past, the gazing ball—a convention from eighteenth-century garden design—encourages viewers to contemplate the present, as their image and surroundings are reflected in the mirrored surface of the ball. “I see them as devices of connecting,” Koons has said. “I always just wanted to be involved in the dialogue with the avant-garde.”

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