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Jeff and Ilona

Jeff and Ilona
Acrylic on canvas
65 x 100 cm


This work looks like a screen in which a sexual video can be played, although this won’t be possible because the whole image is made of paint. Inserted in the interface of the most famous porn website and hiding behind the ‘Play’ button, we can appreciate most of the scene. The names painted on the top bar of the canvas allow us to identify the actors of this fake tape: ‘Jeff and Ilona’. If this still doesn’t ring any bells, we can try with their surnames: Koons and Staller. This way we can track and find the origin of the source image: ‘Red Butt (Close Up)’, a photographic work made by the couple that belongs to Koons’ series ‘Made in Heaven’.

Nevertheless, this work is a painting made following the same process used by the American artist between 1994 and 1998. This technique and its medium size make the painting look like a printed screenshot when seen from the distance in an exhibition room, or a ‘real’ virtual image when seen on a screen. But we can still perceive its handmade manufacture if we look closer and/or fall in its trap.

This painting is exciting for the mind, as we will never be able to play the video. The frustrating pause can provoke a number of reflections, such as: What makes a picture to be considered porn or art? Can this work be exhibited in a museum? Will our friend fall in the painting trap by clicking on the ‘Play’ button, just as we did?