Thursday, December 17, 2015


We’ve always been great Géricault fans, largely thanks to J L Steele and C F Goldie’s steal The arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand at the Auckland Art Gallery. Over the years we've chased down parodies, copies and versions of the Géricault original that you can visit (or revisit) from the list below. This post was prompted by seeing the latest Jeff Koons painting show at Gagosian Gallery in New York. Koons has placed his well known, blown glass blue gazing balls in front of an art history top of the pops including Géricault ‘s The raft of the Medusa. The balls sit on small shelves attached to what look like silkscreened images of the paintings. Koons being Koons though, they were in fact painstakingly painted by studio assistants to very different scales from their originals. For example Koons' Medusa work is a mini-version of the 5 x 7 meter monster in the Louvre. Wandering around the vast spaces you can think about originality and the historical nature of painting as a medium and how he chose his masters, or you calculate how many hours it took how many assistants to paint them. According to Koons the tiny image of us reflected in the blue ball as in the photograph above shows our 'desires…interests… participation and relationship with this image'. Treat them gently, it’s nearly Christmas.
Image: Koons does Géricault at Gagosian

Previously on OTN:
Copy that
Flotsam or jetsam?
A raft too far
All at sea
Raft of references