Koons, Abramović, Eliasson: 3 superstars of the art world take on VR

Jeff Koons interacting with “Phryne”, his virtual ballerina (screen capture). © DR

Jeff Koons, Marina Abramović, Olafur Eliasson… The cream of the contemporary art world has finally caught up to the virtual reality (VR) frenzy. The three artists collaborated with Acute Art, an online art platform based in London and specialized in VR, to produce three interactive artworks. Faithful to his style, Jeff Koons conceived Phryne, a virtual ballerina with metallic skin who leads the viewer on a pastoral stroll. “I gave her a metallic surface to bring in affirmation,” he explains in the presentation video. “You realize your own reflection. From that point, you can go off into abstraction. Your presence is real, you exist.”

Making of the VR artworks of Koons, Abramović, Eliasson:

Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović’s Rising provokes viewers in a face-to-face confrontation with her virtual avatar in order to denounce the melting of the glaciers brought on by climate change. Similarly, Islandic-Danish visual artist and designer Olafur Eliasson’s Rainbow is a virtual installation to explore this natural phenomenon in the sky. Eliasson, who also teaches the “Why to Make (Almost) Anything” course at the Fab Academy, examines the interactions between body, light and matter.

Following a preview on June 8 during Brilliant Minds at the Symposium Stockholm festival, the project grouping the three artworks is scheduled to launch in autumn 2017.

Nothing new under the sun, however, as many artists, such as David Guez and his VRLab, didn’t wait for the stars of the contemporary art world to jump on the VR bandwagon. So is it just a trendy marketing ploy or truly the next big thing in contemporary art? As Golan Levin, pioneer artist of “software art” and generative art, pointed out in a Tweet:

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