Koons unveils a giant inflated ballerina sculpture

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STORY: Artist Jeff Koons unveiled a giant 45-foot (13.7 meter) inflatable art installation called “Seated Ballerina” at Rockefeller Center in New York on Friday (May 12).
The 62-year-old American is one of the world’s most successful artists and is dubbed the “king of kitsch” for his shiny, balloon-like creations and references to pop culture. His work “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold for $58.4 million in 2013, the highest price for a living artist’s work sold at auction.
Koons said the shiny mylar inflatable was meant to bring awareness to National Missing Children’s Month.
“I really hope that the ‘Seated Ballerina’ can represent to people of all ages a sense of hope and optimism for our future,” he said. “But I think especially, young children can look at this and can get a sense of their own potential in life. And all of our children, the ones we really don’t want to ever forget are the missing children and the lost children and the type of hope and optimism that they have for their own lives.”
Koons was married to Italian porn star Ilona Staller, known as “La Cicciolina,” in 1991. The couple divorced in 1994, and Staller took their son to Italy. Four years later, their divorce was confirmed by an Italian court. Koons was originally awarded custody of the couple’s son, who was born in 1992. But custody was later given to Staller, and Koons was ordered to pay monthly child support.
Koons said that experience guided him to the cause of missing and exploited children.
“I was losing kind of faith in humanity, and I got involved with the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children and I became a board member because I want to try to help other people, other families, other children, other situations so that these type of events won’t happen, and to try to prevent it – even if I can help prevent one…

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