Vancouver — Not Made In Heaven

In the last few days I read an essay in the NY Times about Flashbacks and Forecasts ‘Degenerate Art’ to Koons’s ‘Made and Heaven’and Much in Between.

I thought back to September 1990 when I sat with Jeff Koons over a beer at the Marble Arch while we watched his wife Cicciolina (aka Ilona Staller) slowly take off all her clothes on stage. Koons was a delight. I proposed an idea to him which he immediately accepted. At that same time the Dianne Farris Gallery (then on 6th Avenue) had a show by Calgary artist Attila Richard Lukacs that featured large and colourful paintings of handsome and young US Marines holding American flags. My idea was to take Koons to the gallery and have him talk to a CBC TV or Radio person about his reaction to an apparently most patriotic show.

The folks at CBC said to me, “Who is this Koons guy? No, we are not interested.”

This reminds me that when Willard Holmes was the Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery he was approached by the Mexican government which was sending works by Frida Kahlo’s for a show in a Tokyo museum. The paintings were going on Japan Airlines via Vancouver. The Mexican Government simply wanted Holmes and the VAG to insure the show while it was being shown in Vancouver. Holmes declined. I was told of this by his successor Brooks Joyner.

When are we going to get it?

Link to: Vancouver — Not Made In Heaven

Originally published at



Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at:

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