Giant Rocking Horse Head Sculpture by Jeff Koons Going Up at Rockefeller Center

June 21, 2014

Photo © Jeff Koons. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Tom Powel Imaging.

Is it a giant rat? A horse? A dinosaur? Those passing by 30 Rock over the past week and a half have probably been wondering what’s going up in the famed plaza (at least we have). Word has it that Jeff Koons is back in the ‘hood, this time with a massive sculpture of a pony, or “Split-Rocker”, grafted in living flowers and complete with an internal irrigation system.

Editor’s note 8/27: This article has been updated to show the completed work, seen above.

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The work of art is the second of Koons’s for the site in more than 14 years (his previous being the whimsical “Puppy“), and will weigh 150-tons and stand 37-feet tall once it’s completed later this month. Like Puppy, Split-Rocker made the rounds before coming to New York. The horse was at the cloister of the Palais des Papes in Avignon in 2000, followed by an appearance at the gardens of Versailles in 2008, and more recently at Foundation Beyeler.

According to Foundation Beyeler, the sculpture takes inspiration from Picasso’s Cubist works, visible in its recognizable yet irregular form. Koons also plays with the idea of “confrontation of opposites” through scaling what’s conventionally a children’s toy into an intimidating, “monstrous” size. He provides another counterpoint by covering the work in flora.

The completed sculpture will be officially unveiled on June 27th, and will coincide with Koons’ solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The project is sponsored by the Public Art Fund.

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