Have you seen Jeff Koons' birthday cake?
The artist's wife recreated one of Koons' favourite Picasso paintings in icing for his 59th birthday on Tuesday
The critic Robert Hughes once said, somewhat uncharitably, that be believed the artist Jeff Koons “couldn't carve his name on a tree”. Yet Koons' own manual skills aside, it seems that someone in the Jeff household is pretty handy with the icing bags.
Koons posted a picture of his birthday cake on his Twitter account with the accompanying message: “My Picasso 'Kiss' birthday cake baked by Justine. My favorite birthday cake ever!”. Justine is Koons' wife, a fellow artist, and the embrace depicted is a copy of one Koons' favourite paintings, The Kiss (1969) by Pablo Picasso.
Koons owns this later work by the Spanish artist, one of three such images painted by Picasso that year; apprarently it hangs in the Koons' bedroom. As he explained in 2010 for the BBC series Modern Masters, the painting has changed his life. “I look at it every day,” he told interviewer Alastair Sooke. “I think it’s about his conquests in life, his artistic and sexual conquests,” Koons explains, adding that he believes Picasso is “looking back at his career, as an older man. There's an ambition and a great amount of passion to be an older person and to have this ambition.”
Picasso was about 87 when he painted The Kiss, which might give hope to Koons, a spry 59-year-old, that the best years are ahead of him. Happy birthday, Jeff. For more on this, go to Koons' twitter feed. For a greater understanding of Picasso consider our modestly priced introduction, as well as our award-winning study.
Meanwhile, for more on Koons' personal enthusiasms, check out the book that he was "blown away" by, Wild Art, a survey of art outside the gallery system. Buy them both from the people who made them here.