Koons and Kuon Take Basketball from Court to Gallery

NEW YORK—Basketball and art are colliding. Jeff Koons famously immersed three basketballs (two Spaldings and one Wilson) in a fish tank in 1985. Nearly 30 years later, Jeremy Lin’s surprise performance with the New York Knicks earlier this year triggered “Linsanity,” inspiring artist Andrew Kuo to paint a small-scale portrait of the tall point guard contemplating the Koons installation.

Kuo’s “Tallboy” is a part of Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s “In Plain Sight” exhibit, a group show that explores representational painting by emerging artists and “Three Ball 50/50 Tank” by Koons is currently on view in the Contemporary gallery at the Museum of Modern Art. Lin has since signed with the Houston Rockets.

“In Plain Sight” is on view from July 19 to Aug. 17, 2012. Kuo also contributed a portrait of a girl whose image is almost completely obscured by a still life of flowers to the exhibition.

All photos © Arts Observer

Above, “Tallboy,” 2012 (acrylic on linen) by Andrew Kuo. Top of page, Installation view of “Three Ball 50/50 Tank” by Jeff Koons at MoMA.

At center, Installation view of “Tallboy” by Kuo Mitchell-Innes & Nash shows the diminutive scale of the portrait.

“Three Ball 50/50 Tank (Two Dr. J. Silver Series, One Wilson Supershot),” 1985 (glass, painted steel, distilled water, plastic, and three basketballs) by Jeff Koons at MoMA. In background, “Untitled,” 1982 (ink on two sheets of paper) by Keith Haring.

Detail “Three Ball 50/50 Tank” by Koons.

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