map
the broad

Rabbit

Jeff Koons
1986
stainless steel
41 x 19 x 12 in. (104.14 x 48.26 x 30.48 cm)
Douglas M. Parker Studio, Los Angeles

NARRATOR

Artist Jeff Koons, from The Broad’s UnPrivate Collection talk.

 

JEFF KOONS ARCHIVAL

“Where I grew up in Pennsylvania, people really enjoy celebrating the holidays…so at Easter, people will put inflatable rabbits out in their yards…but when I would look at it, it reminds me as I mentioned before like I think of an orator, a playboy bunny or you think of resurrection….there’s many different ways you can view it, and I think that’s what kind of gives it an iconic type of power, in that it can have a lot of different meanings to different people. But it affirms everyone. Anybody looking at it, it first is affirming you. It can have a lot of different meanings.”

 

NARRATOR

Jeff Koons’s version of an inflatable rabbit—a cheap children’s toy—has lost all traces of vulnerability. Its once soft, easily punctured surface has been cast in impenetrable stainless steel, the carrot looks more like a weapon than a snack, and the mirror-like surface deflects any allusions to its interior. The form and finish are austere, yet alluring. Joanne Heyler.

 

JOANNE HEYLER

The ears have a lot of detail that is clearly what you would find in a sort of drugstore inflatable animal. The feet and legs have that, too. All the seams show. It's a very convincing facsimile in every way, except that it's completely blank.

 

NARRATOR

Eli Broad

 

ELI BROAD ARCHIVAL

“Well, from the first day we met Jeff Koons, and went to his studio on Houston and Broadway to today, we’re sort of awestruck by his creativity and how he moves forward and the number of people he has working at his studio.”

 

JOANNE HEYLER

To make stainless steel do this, what you see in this sculpture, is very very difficult and technical. To get each and every one of those folds and crinkles and wrinkles so that it just very convincingly looks like a buoyant, air-filled object, when it is, in fact, extremely heavy and steel is one of the illusions that he achieves with this piece.