Last weekend, my friend and I took our three art-loving eight-year-olds to the Whitney Museum to see the (blockbuster, if the huge lines were any indication) Jeff Koons show. They were all very intrigued by the warnings about "inappropriate and graphic content" on the third floor - first demanding an explanation as to what "graphic content" meant and then clamoring to see said content immediately. The massive nekkid paintings weren't as graphic as we'd feared, but the full frontal scrotums did cause lots of gleeful giggling.
We all decided that Koons' earliest work, vacuum cleaners encased in plexiglass cubes, was decidedly NOT ART (their words and emphasis, but I'm with them). But this led to a fun discussion about Marcel Duchamp and his scandalous urinal readymade, prompting urgent questioning about the location of the urinal and how and when they could all see it. We also talked at length about Koons' basketballs - how he managed to attain equilibrium in the tanks and, even more importantly, just how he convinced Dr. J to sign so many balls (that last one was all Owen).
Acting out scenes from the Banality sculpture series.
Bunny ears for Balloon Rabbit (will civilization end the day kids stop liking bunny ears?). Koons' "inflatable" sculptures were surprisingly cool up close.
Balloon Dog was far and away the biggest hit of the show. The three of them spent forever dancing in front of it, catching the attention of the museum photographer (happily confirmed as an official photographer rather than a creepster when they came over to ask us to sign a release). The boys were thrilled and after yelling "SIGN THE RELEASE! SIGN THE RELEASE!" immediately began harassing the poor photog about whether their pictures were already up on the website for viewing.
B doing his best Popeye impression.
Hercules was also exceedingly popular, mostly thanks to Brendan's first impression: "Oh my god, his buttcheeks are bigger than my head!" Yep, serious connoisseurs of the arts, these three.
Updated: they actually made it onto the Whitney website. Hee.