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WENG CONTEMPORARY

The "Diamond (Red)": A Gesture of Love

“Everything is a metaphor at the end of the day - we don't care about objects we care about people - and all objects and images are metaphors for ourselves and other people.„

— Jeff Koons

The Greeks believed that diamonds were the tears of gods, and the Romans wrote about Cupid’s arrows being diamond-tipped. This is how this precious gemstone became a gesture of love and a social symbol of affluence. Especially since the red diamonds are the rarest and most expensive, they are the most coveted.

With this festive Diamond in red colour, Koons offers a reimagined iconography of the gemstone found in nature, which takes billions of years to form. He first started working with the image of the Diamond in 1994 as part of his Celebration series. Thereafter, the Diamond became a vehicle for Koons to communicate and reflect upon the mass-made consumer products that are created for festivities.

Diamond (Red), 2020

We are delighted to share with you our latest visionary and storytelling editorial celebrating the release of his limited art edition. Shot by the talented photographer Shkelzen Konxheli, who has recently shot for Vogue Arabia. Model and actress Zoë Pastelle graced the narrating role reflecting on Jeff Koons's festive Diamond (Red) limited art-edition. We are grateful to Bongénie Grieder for carefully selecting the clothing for this editorial, as well as to Nina Tatavitto for executing the hair and makeup. 

The American artist stated: "I don´t care about money. I´m interested in people, human desire, and aspiration.” This is why it is presented in the company of four gleaming golden settings at its corners, embracing the gemstone from every angle to keep it safe and in place, as a warm motherly figure. 

With this technically challenging edition, Koons stretched the capabilities of the Limoges porcelain practice for this limited edition. Characteristic of his works, they share a deliberate mirroring effect of its environment, and that of the viewer - one cannot see the artwork without seeing oneself. and as the artist has said, "If you don't move nothing happens."

“It’s not about bling, but it’s about the moment of creation. The posts on the sides of the diamond represent male energy, and the diamond is an egg. The stone is attached to a ring by four prongs. For me, the prongs are like sperm attacking an ovum, in the process of being fertilized. That represents the truest narrative we have of human history, which are our genes and our DNA.„

— Jeff Koons

The Celebration series marks the commercialization of birthdays, holidays, Valentine's Day, and Easter. They act as the vehicle for Koons to reflect upon the massmade consumer products that are created for celebrating these festivities. This body of work occupies not only a seminal place in Koons’s artistic oeuvre, but also in his personal life; his notorious marriage to Illona Staller (Cicciolina), the birth of their son, followed by an abrupt divorce.

Similarly to the original and monumental sculpture of the Diamond, 1994-2005; measuring more than 2 meters wide and created in five unique colour versions of Green, Pink, Blue, Yellow, Red, the porcelain limited fine-art edition shares a highly polished chromium surface that reflects light, but does not refract it in the same way as a real diamond, where light travels through the precious gemstone´s 58 cuts. Characteristic of Koons´s artworks, they share a deliberate mirroring effect of its environment, the surroundings, and that of the viewer(s) - one cannot see the artwork without seeing oneself.