Californians Really Don't Want a Jeff Koons Piece

In our age of increasing mistrust with big-money corporations, it has become a common sentiment all across the country to be more localized; to set our sights on the fruition of local business or emerging local talent instead of relying on the products and goods perpetuated by multinationals. This same debate is now raging in Sacramento, California, only it’s not about a corporate giant. It’s about Jeff Koons.

To memorialize Sacramento’s basketball team, the Sacramento Kings, the city and team management have issued a work by Koons to appear outside their basketball arena. In typical Koons-ian fashion, the artwork is a colorfully kinetic sculpture of mass proportions. Titled ‘Coloring Book,’ the work is described as “intended to capture a child’s ecstatic enjoyment of the world.’ The citizens of Sacramento however, have found little to be ecstatic about or enjoy.

Spearheaded by local artist David Garibaldi, a social media smear campaign has been launched against the proposition to install the artwork. Opponents, via a passionately charged Instagram, argue that bringing in the Koons work is like “shopping for art with other people’s money” and that it does not “feel inspired by the movement that created the arena.” Instead of honoring Californian art, the city has opted to continue honoring one of the most heralded artists of the new millennium in a place irrelevant to his life or work.

In other words, Sacramento artists want to keep it local with their works of public art. The city has yet to finalize the installation, but if those opposed to bringing Koons in continue their onslaught of social media against it, he may never make it. Buy local, eat local, be local, and aggressively defend your right to promote local art.

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