It’s Thanksgiving in America and that still means paying attention to Macy’s parade in New York City. The New York Times’s Dave Itzikoff explains that the annual spectacle has increasingly taken on a high-art tone with balloons made from images created by artists like Keith Haring, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami:
For the organizers of the Macy’s parade the addition of Mr. Murakami and his characters to its lineup is the fulfillment of a longtime goal and several years of work.
Robin Hall, the executive producer of the parade, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Murakami was one of a handful of artists Macy’s sought out when it started its series of balloons designed by internationally recognized artists in 2005.
The parade, Mr. Hall said, “is a snapshot of American culture.” While much of its roster is dedicated to readily identifiable figures like SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, he said, “I do believe there’s room in this parade — and have always believed this — for high art.”
In that spirit the sculptor Tom Otterness created a Humpty Dumpty balloon for Macy’s in 2005, depicting that nursery-rhyme character suspended upside-down in a perpetual tumble. In 2007 the parade added a shimmering silver rabbit designed by Jeff Koons, and the following year incorporated a giant Keith Haring figure holding up a heart, to mark what would have been the artist’s 50th birthday.
Art Inflation: Macy’s Murakamis (New York Times)