In the center of Rockefeller Center, at just about the same spot the Christmas tree stands each year, sits an enormous inflatable ballerina slipping on her shoe. It resembles a larger-than-life version of a shiny balloon you might find at your local party shop. The installation, which is aptly titled Seated Ballerina, is from Jeff Koons, the American artist who is widely known for his use of balloon animals and inflatable pool toys in much of his work. The original piece that inspired the inflatable was a much smaller version made of high chromium stainless steel with a mirror-polished finish, and was part of Koons's Antiquity series, which included a number of works that explored the themes of "fertility, feminine beauty and life energy through the ages."
Koons is no stranger to oversized outdoor installations. His large-scale works have appeared throughout the world and Seated Ballerina marks the third time one of his pieces has been featured at Rockefeller Center. His previous installation from 2014 was titled Split-Rocker and included two halves of a toy rocker, one half resembling the head of a pony and the other a dinosaur. The surface of each rocker was covered in thousands of live flowers, making the piece a living organism that was constantly in flux.
In addition to serving as a visually stunning centerpiece that overlooks The Concourse of Rockefeller Center, the installation is also meant to bring awareness to National Missing Children's Month. Koons was also quoted as saying the piece “conveys optimism and a sense of potential for the future.” Seated Ballerina is being presented in partnership with Kiehl's since 1851 and can be seen through June 23rd, 2017.