Koons Sculpture Leaves Rockefeller Center Crowds Koonsfused

Instagram reaction to Jeff Koon's Split-Rocker at Rockefeller Center, New York. Photo: via Instagram.
Instagram reaction to Jeff Koon's Split-Rocker at Rockefeller Center, New York. Photo: via Instagram.

The art cognoscenti may already be reaching Jeff Koons saturation (“Koonsturation”?) as he takes over New York with a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art and another of his oversize flowering sculptures at Rockefeller Center, but that doesn’t mean your average man on the street has any clue what is going on. As reported by Today, a number of mystified tourists (and probably more than a few locals) aren’t quite sure what to make of Split-Rocker (2000), officially unveiled by the artist on Wednesday.

Debuting today on the same spot where Puppy (1992) made a big splash in 2000, Split-Rocker, inspired by a child’s rocking horse, is half toy pony, half toy dinosaur. It would appear that the unusual hybrid form is confusing to many. Guesses overheard by Today included a cow, Clifford the Big Red Dog, a Trojan horse, and a dragon.

A quick sweep of Instagram reveals lots of excited journalists documenting Wednesday’s press preview and opening, but also at least a couple of people who aren’t sure what to make of the flowery piece. At least one confused New Yorker hashtagged a photo of the sculpture with the phrase “notintheknow,” and the guess of #flowerdog.

Instagram reaction to Jeff Koon's <em>Split-Rocker</em> at Rockefeller Center, New York. Photo: via Instagram.

Instagram reaction to Jeff Koon’s Split-Rocker at Rockefeller Center, New York. Photo: via Instagram.

Apparently, the confusion has been mounting since Split-Rocker‘s steel armature was first installed at Rockefeller Center earlier this month, before the work’s 50,000 flowers were planted. Ten days before the opening, one person mistook the barely budding statue for a robot giraffe.

While some people eventually figure it out, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re impressed by the 150-ton statue. “I thought this was an advertisement for the nearby Nintendo store,” one person said of the piece, which others have likened to the seminal Mario character Yoshi. “Then I found out it’s actually a Jeff Koons sculpture. Eh.”

Instagram reaction to Jeff Koon's <em>Split-Rocker</em> at Rockefeller Center, New York. Photo: via Instagram.

Instagram reaction to Jeff Koon’s Split-Rocker at Rockefeller Center, New York. Photo: via Instagram.


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