Tuesday, January 09, 2007


At the exhibition The treachery of images at LACMA, Jeff Koons’s sculpture Rabbit is part of an exploration of Magritte and his influence on American and European artists. Rabbit, like many of Koons’s works, is a multiple and the one in this exhibition is an artist proof lent by the Los Angeles collector Eli Broad. This sculpture has a personal connection for us as we have recently purchased a work by Hany Armanious of a chromed inflatable alien that obviously references the Koons. A clue to this is its title – Rabbit! Koons said of his own Rabbit “I used an inflatable rabbit as my model…and then I cast it into stainless steel.…so when you look at it, it looks like it’s still a light inflatable rabbit, a bunny, but actually, you know it has quite a density to it.” The same can be said for Armanious’s Rabbit created 20 years later, which plays with lightness of touch against density of material. Hany has foregone the perfect surface so important to Koons, however, for a more tarnished surface that seems to offer specific references to the process of its making. The Armanious Rabbit is a multiple and a great companion for Michael Parekowhai’s Cosmo, a large inflated rabbit. Cosmo is also a multiple of course – how could rabbit sculptures be anything else?
Left: Hany Armanious Rabbit 2006. Right: Jeff Koons Rabbit 1986