The summer begins with the hope and promise of any new season and then almost instantly fades into a nagging anxiety that becomes increasingly unbearable as the days go by. Every second of sunlight following the solstice is a reminder that the daylight is gradually fading to nothing. The arrival of every heat wave brings with it the news of its eventual departure. The slowness of the days seems to somehow evaporate time itself, causing the hours to move paradoxically faster through some combination of wishing the ennui might end and fearing the inevitability of the very end you’re quietly hoping for. By the last week of July, the season itself feels like a bomb ready to go off at any moment, destroying any prospect of pleasure that might have existed upon its arrival. Yes, every summer is a mere reminder that winter is not so far off, that what awaits you at the end of all that warmth is nothing but filthy snow and dead leaves, and that the cycle will merely repeat itself, in the exact same way, over and over and over until you die, wondering–with whatever perspective death might bring–how you ever could have wasted so much time complaining.
Perhaps you’re wondering how Jeff Koons spends his summer. I know I am. Thankfully, T: The New York Times Style Magazine interviewed Jeff Koons about his summer. So: how does the Koonsmeister spend his summer? The Koons Way, that’s how. He visits the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow! He snowboards in Valle Nevado in Chile! He goes to his house in York, Pennsylvania! He eats turkey burgers! He re-reads The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche!
Hm. Allow me to dwell on this last detail. “I fear that, with our current veneration for the natural and the real,” Nietzsche writes in that book, “we have arrived at the opposite pole to all idealism, and have landed in the region of the waxworks.” Of Nietzsche, Saul Bellow writes, in Herzog, “But what is the philosophy of this generation? Not God is dead, that point was passed long ago. Perhaps it should be stated Death is God. This generation thinks–and this is its thought of thoughts–that nothing faithful, vulnerable, fragile can be durable or have any true power.” For his part, Koons makes sculptures of Play-Doh out of polychromed aluminum.
Oh, Koons! Let not this fading summer pass you by!