kings of kitsch
The Sun King is dead, long live the sun king! When Jeff Koons took over Versailles the clash of kitsch could be heard thousands and thousands of miles away.
Every year Chateau de Versailles, the 350 years old eye blinding palace of Sun King Louis XIV, opens it’s golden doors to host an exposition an artist of our time. In 2008 Jeff Koons, the American predecessor of Damien Hirst, made an unforgettable impression in France. His work blended in so well that had he still lived, Louis XIV would have immediately raised taxes to buy all of Koons’ work.
Versailles lies around the corner from Paris and is only a five hours drive from downtown Amsterdam. The palace and surrounding gardens are worth a visit every day of the year, but the yearly ‘resident artist’ can make a visit even more worthwhile. To avoid the inevitable lines, a visit in spring, fall or winter can be a good idea. Especially when you combine it with a couple of days city breaking in Paris.
Wandering through Versailles makes you wonder how Louis and his staff found their way around. The place is so huge that you can easily play hide and seek three years in a row. GPS would also come in handy to find the fastest way from A to B through the endless stream of living-, bath-, bed- and ballrooms.
Louis XIV was not only the King of Sun, he was also the king of shine. Polished wood, gold, crystal and mirrors, Versailles is bling to the max to the extreme with the work of Koons added.
This year, Versailles hosts the Italian artist Giuseppe Penone for a major exhibition of contemporary art in it’s gardens from June 11 till October 31st.
Château de Versailles