No. 112. The Locomotive of Damocles. It was a photograph of a hitherto unrealized work by Jeff Koons—a steam locomotive suspended from a crane over a busy intersection—that led him to use a rented crane to haul a derelict engine up into the air next to his studio. He saw the pendant locomotive as a symbol both of his Art Train obsession and the oppression he felt at the hands of his own enthusiasm. He remembered reading about how one of his heroes, Vladimir Mayakovsky, had once given a poetry reading while standing beneath an inverted grand piano dangling just inches over his head. This kind of theatricalized pseudo-anxiety appealed to him greatly. From now on—if he could afford to rent the crane—he would deliver all of his lectures and press conferences under this black cloud of a steam engine.

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