There’s been so much talk about this exhibition it’s not surprising that on my Sunday afternoon visit the gallery was absolutely packed. The show is the first major exhibition in a public gallery in England for celebrated American artist Jeff Koons’, hitting the headlines due to the quirky and exuberant style of the work. His ‘Popeye Series’ began in 2002 and incorporates surreal combinations of everyday objects, cartoon imagery, art-historical references and children’s toys. The sculptural models of children’s inflatable pool toys are fascinating pieces of work, which at first glance it they seem to defy physics completely like the hanging monkeys pictured below.
In actual fact the models are cast in aluminum, their surfaces painted to bear an uncanny resemblance to the original objects. It is hard to get your head around the idea that they are not actually what they seem and the urge to touch them is pretty overwhelming- but alas the watchful eyes of a the gallery assistants wouldn’t allow it.