Jeff Koons at Advocate Children’s Hospital

Submitted by RxArt, Inc.

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Client: Advocate Children's Hospital

Location: Oak Lawn, Illinois, United States

Completion date: 2010

Artwork budget: $35,000

Project Team

Other

Diane Brown

RxArt

Other

Dr. Richard Heller III

Advocate Children's Hospital

Artist

Jeff Koons

Other

Lauran Rothstein

Other

Alex Obney

Other

Anedra Kerr

Advocate Children's Hospital

Industry Resource

Super Color Digital

Super Color Digital

Other

Nicki Sebastian

RxArt

Other

RxArt

RxArt

Overview

The installation by world-renowned pop artist Jeff Koons, that brightens the radiology department at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois is one of RxArt's most ambitious projects. As a result of this groundbreaking collaboration, Koons’ iconic characters find a permanent home on a CT Scanner and surrounding exam room (260 square feet). To transform the space, the Philips CT Scanner was painted a vibrant blue and decals featuring Koons’ Monkeys were applied to the machine. His iconic Balloon Dog, Hanging Heart, and Donkey imagery were installed as wallscapes in order to further brighten the room.

Goals

Today many hospitals face increased pediatric sedation rates as more children are confronted with sterile hospital rooms with nothing to take their minds off of the fear of medical examinations. Jeff Koons’ iconic imagery provides patients with art to transform their discomfort into joy and wonder. RxArt's goals were to impact the patient’s recovery and reduce pediatric sedation rates. Lying alone in an enormous and terrifying machine in a cold hospital room is one of the most frightening and overwhelming experiences, especially if you are a child. Having playful images to focus on as patients are immersed in this scary process provides healthy distractions from the discomfort and fear. A patient’s physical condition is tied to their psychological and emotional state. Our bodies don't exist to carry our heads around," says Dr. Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion. Griffiths (2005) states, “Studies have shown that cognitive/ attentional distraction may block the perception of pain…the distractor tasks consume some degree of the attentional capacity that would otherwise be devoted to pain perception.” To that end, Koons' images provide the ‘mental vacation’ that can be transformative in the recovery and healing process in addition to the traditional treatments.

Process

Dr.Richard HellerIII approached RxArt with the hopes of bringing art into Advocate Children’s Hospital. Since Dr.Heller is the chief of Radiology and Diane Brown conceived of RxArt after a frightening CT scan experience, they decided, during Diane’s visit to the hospital, that the Scanner Suite and CT Machine would not only have a powerful positive impact on the pediatric patients, but it also tied together both Diane’s and Dr.Heller’s personal experiences. After making a list of appropriate artists, all parties agreed that Jeff Koons’ whimsical iconic imagery would be a welcome distraction to the daunting medical procedure. Diane then contacted Jeff who was thrilled to come on board. Photographs, plans and video of the space and machine were sent to Jeff’s studio. The RxArt Team, working together with Jeff’s studio and the appropriate vendors produced a proposed project, complete with safety specs, to submit to the hospital for final approval. When the hospital approved, the scanner was brought to the vented basement, disassembled and painted bright blue, while in the CTsuite the machinery on the walls was dismounted and wallscapes were installed. The scanner was then brought back in; reassembled, and lastly, the monkey decals were placed.

Additional Information

This project was made possible through the generosity of Kiehl's Since 1851, and Jeff Koons, who generously took no artist fee for his participation in this project.