Imagine There's No Made In Heaven

Christian Viveros-Faune's ruthless smackdown of the Luxembourg & Dayan show of Jeff Koons' porny 1990 Made In Heaven series is an acid, but necessary reminder of how economically and critically disastrous the early 1990s were for the artist. [Though I'm sure there's a schadenfreude set who hug those Dinkins-era memories close.]

It also reminds me of a 1999 panel discussion Koons did with Rob Storr at MoMA. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of Artists Space. When asked why he had not mentioned Made in Heaven during his otherwise comprehensive conversation, Koons had said that he had repudiated the work, and that he would henceforth no longer associate himself with it. That's always stuck with me.

He also mentioned being in a difficult and highly distressing custody battle at the time with his Italian ex-wife. So maybe the repudiation had a strategic element to it, and now that his son has moved and grown up, it's time for takebacks.

If anyone goes to MoMA and tracks down that recording [which is not currently online], I hope they'll tell me if I'm remembering it wrong.

UPDATE: And I may be. reader Dan emails to say that he listened to the tape yesterday at MoMA's archive, and unless it was in part of the audience Q&A he missed, then this exchange wasn't in it. I've had a distinct memory of hearing it, though, so I'll have to figure out where that might have been. I've spoken with Koons several times--we used to live across the street from each other--but this series of work was not a topic I brought up with him.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: October 13, 2010.

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