Hit the Slopes with a Jeff Koons-Designed Snowboard

Hit the Slopes with a Jeff Koons-Designed Snowboard

The contemporary artist teamed up with Burton for his limited-edition “Philosopher” board.

The contemporary artist teamed up with Burton for his limited-edition “Philosopher” board.

Text: Thomas Freeman

For an artist who works in the abstract as much as Jeff Koons, even snowboarding becomes a metaphysical exercise. “When you’re on a snowboard, there is a sense of oneness, and I’m just mesmerized by it,” said Jeff, who took up the sport two years ago, in a statement.

His transcendent experiences on the slopes prompted his collaboration with snowboarding legend Jake Burton. Through Jake’s eponymous company Burton, Koons customized a board with illustrations inspired by the cave allegory from Plato’s Republic, including sketches of Plato and the Platonic solids.

Sure you have seen it tattooed onto the forearms of countless Brooklyn baristas, but his interpretation on winter-sport gear is truly visionary.

“I created an idea for a board that reflects the philosophy of this feeling, starting with Plato’s Cave—the idea of transcendence, freeing oneself and walking out of that cave in a higher state of consciousness,” Koons said. “That’s what the act of snowboarding does for me.”

It is certainly a jump from the contemporary artist’s usual creations—stainless steel balloon animal sculptures and towering Play-Doh statues. Still, the flair for color and arch, pop art-like graphics is unmistakably Jeff Koons.

“The Philosopher” board was recently unveiled at Burton’s New York flagship after two years of development at his R&D facility in Vermont. Only 50 were produced, meaning they are more likely to be coveted by art collectors than bona fide snowboarders.

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