Greek and Roman antiquity, a suspiciously life-like animatronic snake, limited edition Nike sneakers, knock-off Rolexes, fresh koulouri bread and a Britney Spears soundtrack. “Jeff Koons: Apollo” is on at the famous DESTE Foundation’s Slaughterhouse project space, housed atop a cliff overlooking the glorious Saronic Gulf. Thanks to the mystagogic experience which the artworld superstar prepared in complete secrecy in the past two years, the island of Hydra becomes, once again, the talk of the global art scene.
Aren’t we used to Koons’ shenanigans by now? The question “is this art?” does not concern the creator who fares record prices for his artworks (his “Rabbit” became the most expensive work sold by a living artist in 2019). What he created is an experience, first, with a pronounced performative aspect. Hailed as “the contemporary master of the everyday”, Koons gives a nod to his forefathers Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol with his readymades. His full-colour Apollo is more accurate historically compared to contemporary assumptions of what Classical Greek art looks like (a question that designer India Mahdavi currently deals with, too).
In two hours tops from Piraeus, you can partake in this summer’s big hitter exhibition and explore Hydra, which always attracts an eclectic crowd.