Greek God Apollo Shines Over Hydra

High above the sun-baked Greek island of Hydra, the Greek God Apollo presides, his face shining a warm welcome to those entering the island’s horseshoe-shaped port, fringed perfectly with its symmetry of mansions and stone walls.
By 2 months ago

High above the sun-baked Greek island of Hydra, the Greek God Apollo presides, his face shining a warm welcome to those entering the island’s horseshoe-shaped port, fringed perfectly with its symmetry of mansions and stone walls.

Fittingly shaped as a giant golden sun, the 9.1 metre wide ‘Apollo Wind Spinner’ that bears the face of the Greek God is just one of artist Jeff Kloon’s newest pieces on display in an exhibition on the Saronic Isle proudly presented by the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art.

Widely considered one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, Hydra has long been a haven and source of inspiration for international painters, musicians, writers, bohemian poets, and artists.

It was on this stunning slice of island paradise that free-spirited creatives such as Leonard Cohen, Marianne Ihlen, George Johnston, Charmian Clift, Peter Finch and Sidney Nolan found solace in the 1960s - and not much has changed since.

Over twenty years after his last solo exhibition in Greece ‘Jeff Koons: Apollo’ is on view at DESTE’s Project Space at the old Slaughterhouse in Hydra from June 21 to October 31, 2022.

DESTE introduces the exhibition as an installation presenting new sculptures by Kloons, complimented by readymade objects selected by the artist “to engage the viewer in a metaphysical dialogue between the contemporary and ancient.”

The exhibition has been installed at the Slaughterhouse - DESTE’s Project Space in Hydra, which was granted to the foundation by the Municipality of the Island of Hydra to serve as a unique exhibition space.  Following its restoration and renovation, the DESTE Project Space Slaughterhouse has hosted a series of contemporary art exhibitions on the islands each summer since 2009.

Although primarily known as the Greek God of sun and light, Apollo was also the Olympian god of music and poetry, healing and plagues, prophecy and knowledge, order and beauty, archery and agriculture and is often depicted with a laurel crown on his head and either a bow and arrow or a lyre and plectrum in his hands.

Thus it seems only right that this exhibition, ‘Jeff Koons: Apollo’, which pays tribute to the ancient Greek deity, be a celebration of all five of the senses.

“The exhibition activates the senses through music, sage burning, and baked offerings reminiscent of ancient times.

“With the sounds of the ancient kithara playing alongside contemporary songs, the two musical formats are at times disjointed and at other moments find sublime beauty.

“The overall exhibition is metaphysical and celebrates human history and aspiration,” says DESTE.

In addition to its centrepiece ‘Apollo Wind Spinner’ which stands outside the exhibition entrance, within the Slaughterhouse, is the sculpture ‘Apollo Kithara’, a 2.3-metre tall polychromed animatronic sculpture of Apollo, playing a kithara.

Inside the Slaughterhouse Project Space, the walls have been transformed with ancient frescoes from Boscoreale, near Pompeii.

The metaphysical ‘Jeff Kloons: Apollo’ exhibition also includes several other new works including a pair of bronze Nike sneakers, ‘Gazing Ball Tripod’ and ‘Plato’s Solid Forms Wind Spinners.’

Image: Gazing Ball Tripod, 2020-2022
© Jeff Koons

Image: Nike Sneakers, 2020-2022
© Jeff Koons

Video: "Plato's Solid Forms Wind Spinners" 2020-2022
© Jeff Koons

Project Space Slaughterhouse Hydra Exhibition Opening Hours

Monday  – Sunday - 11.00–13:00 & 19–22:00

Tuesday - Closed

Please note: DESTE’s Project space in Hydra is open between June and September.

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Copyright GreekCityTimes 2022