Jeff Koons

© Jeff Koons - Photo: Chris Fanning

A master of kitsch and a major artist of the international contemporary art scene, Jeff Koons pulverised the border between popular and elitist arts. Recycling popular culture in order to create a very personal iconography situated between pop art and the ready-made, he seeks to “tackle subjects everyone can relate to” – household appliances enclosed in Plexiglas cases (The New, 1981-1987), basketballs suspended in aquariums (Equilibrium, 1985), rococo knick-knacks (inflatable rabbits, shepherdess-shaped sugar or Michael Jackson in porcelain), or childhood paraphernalia (Celebration, 1994). The work of this polymorphous artist calls on all artistic techniques: installations, photography, painting, sculpture in all materials (wood, marble, glass and stainless steel) and even computer-aided creation. He is especially well known for his monumental public sculptures such as Balloon Dog (a giant blow-up dog) or Puppy (a thirteen-metre high dog made from flowers).

Born in 1955 in Pennsylvania, Jeff Koons initially attended art classes in Baltimore and Chicago, before becoming a broker in raw materials on Wall Street. This position, which he occupied for ten years, apparently influenced his vision of art, which he considers to be a “privileged vector of merchandising”. He does not produce any of his works himself: they are created in a studio that is like a small business, with over a hundred assistants. He is the “ideas man” which he then has produced by professionals.


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