Guffwatch - Koons edition (ctd.)
January 30 2014
News that Christie's are to sell a Koons Cracked Egg in London in February brings plenty of Guff-tastic lines in their press release. Read the whole thing here. This is a good bit:
Cracked Egg (Magenta) plays with the fragile nature of the egg to explore themes of the ephemeral and the eternal. The fragments of shell emphasize the fusion of opposites, appearing simultaneously organic and synthetic, fragile and resilient. To contrast the vulnerability of the eggshell, Koons managed to perfect casting techniques that result in a mirror-sheen surface that is virtually indestructible. As the artist explains, “I was interested in the dialogue with nature and aspects of the eternal, the here and now, the physical with the ephemeral... the symmetrical and asymmetrical, a sense of the fertile …”
In just this one paragraph we can see a whole range of the generic phrases that one needs to create contemporary art guff: 'explore themes'; 'fusion'; 'simultaneously'; 'contrast'; 'dialogue'. These are the key words any guff sentence needs, because they allow you to do the old art guff trick of combining opposites - 'the symmetrical and asymmetrical' - which sounds terrifically learned, but of course says nothing of any substance at all.
The estimate is £10m-£15m. If you buy it at even the low estimate, that's enough (with premium) to have bought the entire Christie's Old Master Part 1 sale in New York yesterday.
Update - a reader writes:
The Koons Cracked Egg guff would have been even better if they had used "dialogue" as a verb. Such a missed opportunity on their part.
Update II - another reader writes:
Reminded by your piece on Koons of this (below) from Lear. As is often the case, the Fool is wise: as he says earlier in the same scene, 'Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipped out....' It's worth noting that, were one available, you could buy a First Folio for significantly less than a Koons 'Egg' (cracked or not).
King Lear Act 4 Scene 1
Fool; Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns.
KING LEAR; What two crowns shall they be?
Fool; Why, after I have cut the egg i' the middle, and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy crown i' the middle, and gavest away both parts, thou borest thy ass on thy back o'er the dirt: thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy golden one away.
Update III - a curious video from Christie's on the Egg here, in which you get an explanation of the bleedin' obvious.