Diamond (Blue), 2023, is a limited edition by Jeff Koons that transforms the monumental Celebration sculpture into Limoges porcelain fabricated within the workshops of Bernardaud. Diamond is part of Koons’ iconic Celebration series, conceived in 1994, that consists of sixteen paintings and twenty large-scale sculptures. The original 7-foot long Diamond (1994-2005) was created in five unique colors (green, pink, blue, yellow, and red) in mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating.
The Celebration series was inspired by significant moments within the calendar year such as the celebration of an anniversary as captured in Diamond. There is a romantic aspect to the work but, for the artist, there is also a biological narrative. In Koons’ own words: "It’s not about bling; but it’s about the moment of creation. The posts on the sides of the diamond represent male energy, and the diamond is an egg. One symbol of male energy, sperm, already entered the egg and all the facets of life are unfolding. If you go back to the furthest point here at the back, that is as far back as we could go in human history. That represents the truest narrative we have of human history, which are our genes and our DNA. I wanted to start to make works that dealt with more of an inward connectivity. The way our genes and DNA are interconnected, like a double helix, our cultural lives are interconnected.”
The reflective surface of Diamond is a reoccurring element within Koons’ oeuvre that spans over four decades beginning with the readymade mirrors in the Inflatable series from the late 1970s. Through highly reflective surfaces, Koons’ artworks interact with their environment but also the viewer continuing to change and evolve in each unique setting.
For 160 years, Bernardaud has worked with the most skilled artisans at their workshop in Limoges and has created new technologies to achieve the porcelain works made in collaboration with Jeff Koons. No detail was compromised in rendering the diamond in porcelain. Bernardaud was challenged with the reflective surface, finessing the glaze techniques and refining the surface to create as smooth a surface as possible made for a porcelain finish. Koons’s archetypal Diamond (Blue), 2023, is complex and profound.
Born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania, Jeff Koons is without question one of the most important living artists. He is among the few who successfully extract the essentials from avant-gardism, most notably Pop Art. In his hands, even the most familiar, everyday items transcend commonality to become true icons that manifest the essence of American popular culture. Yet on a broader scope, we are presented with positive messages of acceptance and humanity, themes which resonate universally. Koons works are exhibited throughout the world and are found in numerous public and private collections.
Founded in 1863 and still owned by the family, the famous porcelain company continues at the cutting edge of creativity and innovation while upholding its core values of excellence, superior quality and precision. Working in a sector that is in a permanent state of change, the house continues to develop advanced technology and push back technical limits in the art and science of porcelain-making. Its determination to work to the highest of standards is the key to its collaboration with internationally famous contemporary artists. With this project, Bernardaud has engineered an encounter between creativity and porcelain technology that is marked by mutual fascination, extensive give-and-take and the house’s quest for perfection. In doing so, the brand has staked out an even larger place for porcelain in today’s world.