Jeff Koons curates "Skin Fruit" for New Museum

Iconoclast, provocateur, capitalist: the American artist Jeff Koons has had many labels thrust upon him. Now add “curator.” The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York asked Koons to be the inaugural guest curator in its “Imaginary Museum” series (which will periodically showcase leading private collections of contemporary art from around the world). The result, titled Skin Fruit, and running through early June, is a compelling exhibition of cherry-picked works owned by Greek businessman-philanthropist Dakis Joannou, a close friend and avid collector of Koons. Scoring some rare face time with the pop guru, filmmaker Alison Chernick followed Koons around the museum during the installation. Strolling up to sculptures by Charles Ray, Terence Koh and Liza Lou, Koons elucidates his selections—as well as his philosophies about capital-A art—in his trademark captivating educational lull. Chernick previously filmed the artist in epic scope for her 2004 feature-length documentary, The Jeff Koons Show. “He’s great to work with because he’s such a mystery,” she says. “Even after making my documentary, the mystery remains unraveled. I’m still trying to figure him out.” With this show, the window onto that magnificent brain that has given us aluminium pool toys, flower puppies and Hulk Elvis opens a bit wider.