I came across this yellow mushroom in my garden that just surfaced after the rain. It turned out to be a Leucocoprinus birnbaumii or “yellow pleated parasol”. I found the yellows to be really intense. It reminded me of an artwork that was a glowing yellow room illuminated by mono-frequency bulbs that give a retinal after effect (Olafur Eliasson, Take Your Time, MCA, 2009-10). When I experienced the retinal after effects of this mushroom (and noticed the colour yellow throughout the day), it revealed the value of being perceptive to small things in nature, and that there is a personal ecological relational aesthetics, open to those receptive.
It has been a horrific fire season, followed by flash flooding. The rain doused the fires, but we are just left with the devastation and aftershock. The animals, fungi, plants and insect life are slowly recovering.
This is Jeff Koons’ work, a patch of flowers and a puppy, from the exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, “Making art public: 50 years of Kaldor Public Art Projects”. I was reading this book at the time and thought it was serendipitous to see them both together. The book is about philosophers and their relationship to gardens. Emily Dickinson talks about her poems as ‘blossoms in the brain’, and flowers ‘which fade not, from the garden we have not seen’.
John Kaldor gave a talk about Koons’ colourful history as an artist. Koons married famous Italian porn star, Ilona Staller (also known as La Cicciolina) who is now a politician in Italy and will stand in the next election. They had a son together, Ludwig. And after they divorced, Koons tried to keep him. Staller was able to break into his New York home and take Lugwig to Italy. The pair were embroiled in a lengthy costly custody battle, which Staller eventually won.
On another occasion, during his exhibition of a 12.4-meter-tall floral puppy in Sydney someone secretly put a marijuana plant on top of the gigantic puppy’s head. Surprisingly, he desperately wanted it removed as he thought it ran counter to the love and happiness the puppy represented.