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Next in Chicago: sculptures "in the throes of sex"?

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:58 AM
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by Edward Lifson (noreply@blogger.com) last modified Aug 02, 2011



 

 

Vanity Fair has the well over-the-top story of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, "notorious playboy brother of the Sultan of Brunei, (in) a world of orgiastic wealth: 250 companies, 2,000 cars, luxury hotels, planeloads of women and polo ponies, colossal diamonds." Well, the man's in court, and this came out:
Before the trial began, the defense had released photographs to the press of sculptures Prince Jefri had commissioned from J. Seward Johnson for $800,000, allegedly portraying the prince and his fiancée at the time, Micha Royale Raines, in the throes of sex.  


The artist is the same J. Seward Johnson who designed the statue of Marilyn Monroe and her underpants, on view in Chicago.



It seems the work for Prince Jefri, designed for his 28-acre Long Island, New York estate Sunninghill, was designed to shock and appall. Marilyn too, a little bit, just maybe?
(Jefri's attorney Geoffrey Stewart says) Jefri commissioned J. Seward Johnson to make the sex statues to shock his brother. “Mohamed loved to buzz Prince Jefri’s palace in his helicopter, and Prince Jefri decided that the thing to do would be to have these life-size statues made and put them around the pool. The next time Mohamed buzzed the house, he’d be appalled and shocked.” 
Johnson created four to six pieces for Prince Jefri.


Sculptor J. Seward Johnson has an extensive body of G-rated public works, controversial only for whether or not they are good art. Pioneer Court in Chicago previously displayed his tall sculpted homage to Grant Wood's painting "American Gothic," and a 20-foot tall "King Lear." 

He is reported to claim he was unaware the more X-rated commission came from Prince Jefri. "The sculptures were a commission specifically featuring positions of the ancient public domain Kama Sutra," his spokesman told The Daily Beast. "Artists’ models were used and there was no reference to any collector, buyer, or other individual in the making of the pieces. The project was commissioned anonymously via a holding company and the sculptor was not told the identity of the buyer."



A little more from Vanity Fair's Prince Jefri: The Prince who Blew Through Billions:

(A 1998 lawsuit) described Jefri’s “sex parties” at home and abroad. (The manifest on his 747 usually comprised mostly young women.) An attorney called him a man of “unlimited tastes,” a “one-man walking market,” who bought practically everything he saw, including a rug woven with jewels in threads of solid gold ($7 million), 10 jewel-encrusted wristwatches that depicted on the hour a couple copulating ($8 million), and similarly erotic fountain pens ($1.3 million). In London alone, the Manoukians charged, he kept 40 prostitutes at the Dorchester hotel and spent $34 million for the former Playboy Club at 45 Park Lane—more than four times the market price, according to the brothers—so that he could house more hookers and secretly indulge his passion for gambling. (Jefri denied employing prostitutes.)
Read more here. 
  

Kind of makes the Marilyn look not too bad?  More on Chicago's Marilyn here.


Update: see comments for obligatory comparison to work of Jeff Koons.
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