A Private Jitney for Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog?

a4crates A Private Jitney for Jeff Koons Balloon Dog?Apparently frustrated Manhattanites aren’t the only ones crawling eastbound along Montauk Highway in the heat of the summer, now at least their art can inch along next to them.

A few summers ago, with the advent of Petney–the Jitney-comparable branch of Pet Taxi–pet owners traveling east by no-dogs-allowed means were afforded the option of sending their dog solo safely on the Petney. Now, in the wake of the spring auction scrambles, Hamptons-bound cargo is tending toward the aesthetic rather than the canine. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that over 1,200 Hamptons residents will have their personal art collections gophered back and forth from city to Hamptons between Memorial and Labor Day weekends. The boom of art shuttles–some have been servicing the same clients for 18 years–owe their success to a seasonal population afflicted by one or all of the following issues: confusing works of art for decorative party napkins–“You’re fixing up a place and you’ve got the right flowers, or right dishes, and so on. Sometimes the right artwork is appropriate;” pathetic social pandering–“We’ve been asked to run [art] in very quickly because certain people were going to be there;” and excess beyond square footage–“We’re talking about collectors who have more works than they can put on the walls in their various homes.”

A handful of art-shuttle companies–yes, this is their sole business function–are surveyed in the article, including the Long Island City-based Atelier 4 which offers a weekly “Flex-Shuttle” package that will deliver your Warhol from East 72nd Street to East Hampton for the ripe price of $495. Unless you don’t want Andy canoodling with your neighbor’s Matisse nude, in which case there is an exclusive service which begins at $1,050 per trip. But remember kids, you can take the Koons out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the Koons.

cmalle@observer.com