6. Split Rocker at Rockefeller Center
Split Rocker, which was installed by Public Art Fund at Rockefeller Center in 2014 to mark the Whitney Museum retrospective of Koons’ work, was his first piece in the location in 14 years. The 150-ton, 37-foot flower-sculpture was half pony, half dinosaur and made of 50,000 flower arrangements. It was on display three times before that since its inception in 2000, but just in Europe at the cloister of the Palais des Papes in Avignon in 2000, in the gardens of Versailles in 2008, and lastly at Foundation Beyeler.
The work was inspired by the toys of Koons’ sons and according to Foundation Beyeler, Split Rocker is a “disassembled and differently reassembled figure that simultaneously looks forward and to the side. Split-Rocker relates to the Cubism of Picasso while at the same time turning it in an entirely new direction…With the combination of pony and dinosaur, Split-Rocker embodies that confrontation of opposites that is also expressed in the notion of a “monstrous,” gigantic children’s toy. Yet the artist chooses transitory flowers, of all things, as the material for a monument that promises duration. It is not least in this special interplay of supposed opposites that the true tension and force of Koons’s art lie.”