If you glanced at Instagram at any point over the last few months, chances are there would have been a selfie taken at “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective” somewhere in your feed. This is because as a culture we are now incapable of experiencing a thing without extending one arm outstretched to capture the act of experiencing that thing. And it’s also because there were a lot of shiny reflective surfaces in “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective.” Primo selfie bait.
And it’s safe to assume that a good chuck of these #KoonsSelfies were taken by teenagers, because social media personal branding is the raison d’être of our youth. And it feels slightly subversive to flagrantly selfie in a temple of culture such as the Whitney Museum of American Art.
But it turns out it was an inside job. As writer and artist Aaron Krach revealed via Twitter (right, right) the Whitney had been passing out pamphlets through its Youth Insights propaganda arm that instruct teens exactly how to share their love of the Whitney with the world. “KOONS IS GREAT FOR SELFIES” the bolded message reads. The museum goes on to do away with any respectability. “Take a selfie and post it on Instagram! Use: @whitneymuseum and #Koons #ArtSelfie”
The Whitney Museum uptown closed Sunday, and the Meatpacking District location will open next spring. Check Instagram around then to see it.