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Metallic Venus

Accession Date:
Accession Number:
2010 - 2012
mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating and live flowering plants
100 x 52 x 40 in. (254 x 132.08 x 101.6 cm)

About This Artwork

In Metallic Venus, Jeff Koons transforms the ancient statue of the goddess of love into an unmistakably contemporary object. The sculpture is based on the Callipygian Venus, also called Venus of the round buttocks, which is a Roman copy of a Greek work that now resides in Naples, Italy. Koons’s update of the marble sculpture is made of mirror-polished stainless steel, designed to reflect its surroundings. The work’s eroticism is undeniable, taking the pose of the original Venus (in which she lifts her robe to expose her backside) and including more suggestive features; here, she reveals both her back and her front. In addition, the goddess’s fertility is symbolized by fresh flowers, which are provided daily, in an enduring genesis of life. Metallic Venus is part of Koons’s ongoing Antiquity series, which aims to bring classical meditations on beauty, sexuality, and innocence into the present with new technical virtuosity.