On October 26th, lovers of the art and design world, VIPs, and New York socialites gathered to celebrate the unveiling of Diamond (Blue) 2023, Jeff Koons’ latest artwork in the 10-year collaboration between the family-owned porcelain company Bernardaud and the artist.
Diamond (Blue) is a limited edition of 599 by Jeff Koons that transforms the monumental Celebration sculpture into Limoges porcelain fabricated within the workshops of Bernardaud. Conceived in 1994, Diamond is part of Koons’ iconic Celebration series that consists of sixteen paintings and twenty large-scale sculptures. For 160 years, Bernardaud has worked with the most skilled artisans at their workshop in Limoges and has created new technologies to craft porcelain works in collaboration with Jeff Koons. Bernardaud was challenged with the reflective surface for the pieces, finessing the glaze techniques and refining the surface to make it as smooth as possible for a porcelain finish. The original 7-foot-long Diamond (1994-2005) was created in five unique colors (green, pink, blue, yellow, and red) in mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating. The Profound Diamond (Blue), 2023, highlights life’s moments of creation.
Over 150 guests who mingled with Koons throughout the evening attended the highly anticipated event as he customized mementos for each guest. Attendees included hosts Michel & Charles Bernardaud, Justine & Sean Koons, Marjorie Gubelmann, Susan Gutfreund, Wendy Stark, Loree Rodkin, Charlie Rose, and Howard Lutnick. Also in attendance were designers & architects Kulapat Yantrasast, Carlos Mota, Louis Bofferding, and Adam Tihany. The art world brought collectors, including Liliana Cavendish, Janna Bullock, Debbie August, Patricia Findlay, Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, American Federation for the Arts CEO Pauline Willis, Glass House Director Scott Drevnig and PowerHouse Arts’s head Eric Shiner, among others. Also seen were Stacey Bendet, Peter Brant Jr, Andrea Catsimatidis, Lex Fenwick, Fabrizio and Geraldina Ferri, Rachel Hovnanian, Tatyana Murray, and influencers Timo Weiland, Gia Kuan, Tarik Mendes, and Blade’s Rob Wiesenthal.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania, Jeff Koons is one of the most important living artists. He is among the few who successfully extracted the essentials from avant-gardism, most notably pop art. In his hands, even the most mundane items transcend commonality to become true icons that manifest the essence of American pop culture. Yet, on a broader scope, we are presented with positive messages of acceptance and humanity, themes that resonate universally. Koons’ works are exhibited worldwide in numerous public and private collections.
Jeff Koons’s Celebration series was inspired by significant moments within the calendar year, such as celebrating an anniversary as captured in Diamond. In Koons ‘ own words, there is a romantic aspect to work, but there is also a biological narrative for the artist: “It’s not about bling, but it’s about the moment of creation. The posts on the sides of the diamond represent male energy, and the diamond is an egg. One symbol of male energy, sperm, has already entered the egg, and all the facets of life are unfolding. If you go back to the furthest point here at the back, that is as far back as we could go in human history. That represents the truest narrative of human history, which is our genes and DNA. I wanted to start making works that dealt with more inward connectivity. The way our genes and DNA are interconnected, like a double helix, our cultural lives are interconnected.”
The reflective surface of Diamond is a reoccurring element within Koons’ creations that spans over four decades, beginning with the readymade mirrors in the Inflatable series from the late 1970s. Through highly reflective surfaces, Koons’ artworks interact with their environment but also with the viewer, continuing to change and evolve in each unique setting.
Founded in 1863 and still owned by the family, Bernardaud remains at the cutting edge of creativity and innovation while upholding its core values of excellence, superior quality, and precision. Working in a sector that is in a permanent state of change, the house continues to develop advanced technologies in the science of porcelain-making. Its determination to work to the highest standard is the key to its collaboration with internationally famous contemporary artists. With this project, Bernardaud has engineered an encounter between creativity and porcelain technology marked by mutual fascination, extensive give-and-take, and the house’s quest for perfection. In doing so, the brand has staked out an even more prominent place for porcelain in today’s world.