Artist Jeff Koons spent twenty years creating Play-Doh, his three-meter (ten-foot) tall painted aluminum sculpture. It was inspired by a mound of Play-Doh that his son Ludwig made, but creating a massive version required the extensive exploration of materials and fabrication techniques by scientists, metallurgists, and modelers. From The Whitney:
If you look closely at this object, you see the crustiness. You see the cracks in the surface. You see all of the incredible detail of this mound of Play-Doh that was blown up to a monumental size. The way that it was ultimately achieved was through a casting in metal, and then painting each part.
What’s quite amazing about this sculpture structurally is that each of the separate colors that you see is, in fact, a separate piece of metal, a separate cast. It is put together one piece at a time, in a stack. The largest pieces that you see at the bottom, are continuous all the way through.
See the artwork’s 27 interlocking pieces stack together in the Christie’s time-lapse video above.
Then watch Jeff Koons talk about the piece in this two-minute Whitney Museum video from 2014:
See more oversized art and more museum videos, including:
• Making a rice straw animal sculpture for the Wara Art Festival
• The giant sculptures along North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway
• Florentijn Hofman’s HippopoThames
• Installing massive statues with engineering and care at the Met
• The meticulous work that goes into running MoMA