ARTPOP – Lady Gaga and Jeff Koons – October 2013

Between the four core members on this team we referred to this job as our scenic Vietnam.  I have never worked this hard in my life.  We had a month to prepare, spray, and sand to a perfect polish, three sculptures commissioned from Jeff Koons for Lady Gaga’s new album.  This gave us just over a week per sculpture to do what would take an artist six months in Koons’ studio.  I worked every day for 25 days, usually twelve to seventeen hour shifts, had a day off and then came back for a week to finish the job.

Each peace would arrive to the shop already c & c’d and assembled.  We would start by gently sanding the small ridges left from the router, being careful not to obscure any of the fine details.  The sculpture would then go into the booth to be sprayed with a hard coat. Once a piece was sprayed and had enough time to dry, if not cure, we would sand the coat down from 100 grit to 1000, patching with autobody putty when we sanded through to the styrofoam.   The sculpture would have to be sprayed like this at least three times before we could give it a final sand up to a polish.  The quality of this sand was incredibly important, as any lines or swirls would show clearly when it was chromed.

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The hardest part about this job was not getting to see my (then) girlfriend for most of the month.  I think she enjoyed the fact that she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone what I was working on, but these marathon jobs were hard on us.  I became an enigmatic figure in the place her and I had just moved to.  I left early every morning, came home very late, always grey with dust and exhausted.  In the end, though, I felt proud to have been a part of it, and very close to the group that went through this with me.



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