Koons has been sharply criticized for his plans to install the work in front of the Palais de Tokyo—across town from the Bataclan.
Sarah Cascone, January 25, 2018
Jeff Koons, Bouquet of Tulips (2016). © Jeff Koons. Courtesy of Noirmontartproduction.
Earlier this week, two-dozen professionals in the French art world signed an open letter urging Paris to reject Jeff Koons’s Bouquet of Tulips, a monumental sculpture planned as a memorial to the 2015 terrorist attacks at Paris’s Bataclan concert hall. artnet News has since followed up with some of the signatories about why they so vehemently object to the work—and their repulsion hasn’t waned.
“Jeff Koons’s current practice is closer to entertainment and speculation than to what I call—and I believe what most of the French would call—‘art,’” wrote Stéphane Corréard, director of the Galeristes salon, in an email to artnet News. “Installing such a sculpture in front of the [Palais de Tokyo] museum would make no sense. It would be like putting a Ronald McDonald statue in front of a gastronomic restaurant!”
“When there are horrible shootings, the custom is to put flowers on the floor, humbly, in a gesture of sorrow and respect. In this case it is a triumphant erection with no meaning at all, in a Disneyland aesthetic,” artist Tania Mouraud wrote in an email. “I think the best place for it would be in front of Trump Tower in New York.”