Jeff Koons has had his share of ups and downs in the art world, and is certainly one of the most controversial artists working today. But for anyone living in or visiting New York City this summer, it’s clear that he has taken the international epicenter of the art world by storm. His giant retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art—a long-awaited first for the artist and the final show at the museum’s Madison Avenue address before moving to a new Renzo Piano-designed space in the Meatpacking district next year—just opened amidst highly positive media reviews. The exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s career, as well as the first to fill nearly the entirety of the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building with a single artist’s work (might as well go out with a bang, right?). Couple the ambitious exhibition with the artist’s Split-Rocker in Rockefeller Center—a monumental public sculpture made with living flowers, and presented by Public Art Fund and Gagosian Gallery—and it’s obvious Koons is at the height of his career.
No matter your opinion of the artist’s work, he has certainly made accessible art, making him a perfect partner for fast-fashion chain H&M’s first-ever artist collaboration. Starting July 17th, art and fashion enthusiasts can snag Koons’s $58 million balloon dog sculpture for just $49.50 in the form of a limited-edition leather handbag. Koons will also redecorate H&M’s Fifth Avenue flagship store, with images of the balloon dog glossing the six-story facade alongside the phrase, “Fashion Loves Art.” Talk about highbrow-lowbrow.