Split-Rocker by Jeff Koons

A lot has been said about the floral sculpture installation Split Rocker by Jeff Koons currently installed at the Rockerfeller Centre Plaza in New York and here is my addition to all that is gone before.

A mammoth art installation at 37 feet high, the Split-Rocker was designed by Koons in 2000 and been shown at various locations prior to arriving at this venue. The shell of steel is embedded with holes into which the 50,000 plants have individually been fit one at a time and are watered by a complex internal irrigation system.


The faces of the Split Rocker are made up of two halves, one the profile of a rocking horse and the other of a dinosaur. It is this very coming together that I find so interesting and is what makes this installation in my opinion so very current.

The world we live in is fast-paced and ever changing and the Split-Rocker stands as a symbol of our times. Koons has taken nature out of it’s natural habitat and replanted it in a giant, alien structure where the flowers will bloom according to season in their fertile new home to grow in directions that are not always planned. Worldwide opportunities available now are similar in as much as one can relocate fairly easily, blossoming in a place not necessarily our own.

The profiles of the horse and dinosaur don’t fit, much like the savvy social media person of today who can easily have a different persona for each area of cyberspace that they inhabit.

Both halves of the Split-Rocker look in different directions but have still come together as one. With the myriad ways people across the globe connect, our attention is in several places at one time, looking here and there, multitasking for a lot of the time.

The installation will one day be removed, it is temporary like so much else now, changing everyday, growing more abstract only to be replaced by something supposedly bigger and better.

Public art is supposed to engage an audience, make them inquisitive and ask questions. I believe if one looks at the Split-Rocker as more than just a giant vase or pot holder, by looking beyond the outside and deep within the shell there is a lot to understand and therein lies the success of this giant centuries old children’s plaything that has been made so current.

The Split-Rocker is an artists’ vision brought to life by endless hours of several people labouring, painstakingly putting one flower into one hole and should be appreciated for that effort as well.


I frankly don’t know how far Jeff Koons delved into the Split-Rocker and his exact vision, but even if I were to take away all that I have said so far and just look at it as this giant temporary flower holder, I think it is just so darn cute!

The Split-Rocker will be on exhibition till September 12.