Last month, Sacramento experienced the opening of the new Kings arena and event center that promises to rejuvenate the Downtown area. The Golden 1 Center features two exterior public art pieces: one by world-renowned contemporary artist Jeff Koons, whose pieces fetch multi-million dollar price tags, and one by Sacramento’s own edgy contemporary sculptor Gale Hart.
The Koons piece, titled “Coloring Book,” is nearly 20 feet tall and made from impeccably polished and colored stainless steel. The surface reflects everything around it, like a colored mirror. It plays a sort of optical illusion on the viewer in this space – at first glance, it almost appears to be transparent, as if made from a thick glass or acrylic material. This piece is the fifth edition of the series with a price tag of $8M.
Hart’s installation includes a number of pieces, all created from metal, strewn across the public space around the arena. The theme is the deconstruction of sport and competition, so the viewer sees pieces of darts here and there, raising questions about the human desire to play games. When asked by The Sacramento Bee about the high budget for Koons while her commission was allotted a few hundred thousand dollars, she aptly responded that “[i]f Sacramento wants to play with the big boys, they have to invite the big boys in… There’s not an artist in this town that’s in a place in their career where they deserve $8 million.”
With this new art, Sacramento not only has acquired a world-class piece of modern art to grace our new public space, but also has supported a local artist’s lifelong work and placed her in the most prominent location our city could offer. These additions will spark imaginations and conversations for years to come in our community. Props to the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.
:: art belongs everywhere ::