‘Guilty’ as Charged

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Words by: Jared Paul Stern

Art world provocateur Jeff Koons went from statues of Michael Jackson and Bubbles the chimp to pornographic works starring himself

and giant balloon dogs. His pieces bring in millions of dollars and are highly prized by collectors around the world – but the best Koons of all belongs to Greek billionaire Dakis Joannou. In 2013 Joannou commissioned Koons and naval architect Ivana Porfiri to build him a 115-ft. yacht. Certainly the most eye-popping vessel on the high seas, Guilty has a wild asymmetrical design scheme reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop Art works, inspired by British naval camouflage from World War I. There’s also an enormous portrait of Iggy Pop, whom Koons regards as a “contemporary Dionysus figure,” visible from above.

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“We did what we wanted; style was irrelevant,” Joannou told Forbes regarding the yacht. “We designed a boat in an ‘antistyle’ method. We have no rules, no programs, no plans.” Asked by the magazine if he actually likes the yacht, he replied “The word like, I don’t like.” The interior is bright white with neon word sculptures and not much else by way of adornment. Joannou, who has other yachts as well, doesn’t use Guilty all that often; for one thing it attracts too many gawkers and once had to be wrapped in paparazzi-proof paper; for another too much wear and tear might devalue it. This summer however he did take the craft for a spin in Corfu, and what’s more Koons himself went along for the ride. So far Koons hasn’t been commissioned to design any more yachts, though he did do a BMW Art Car. Might we suggest a private jet next…?
Images: Forbes

Images: Forbes

Words by Jared Paul Stern