Artist: Jeff Koons
Edition size: Open edition book
Medium & Dimensions: Hardcover, 21 x 26 cm, 96 pages
From stainless-steel rabits to cut-up comic figures, Jeff Koons has created a visual universe as accessible as it is esoteric, as innocent as it is erotic, as historic as it is here and now. This introduction offers the complete Koons at a glance with landmark works and succinct art historical analyses.
The creations of Jeff Koons (born 1955) are at once immediately accessible and eloquently art historical. From basketball tanks to flower puppies, his instantly recognizable work frolics with banal imagery as much as it integrates cultural references such as Surrealism and Pop Art.
Koons’ art revels in visual pleasure, but also in the power to affront. He has made his name as much for stainless-steel rabbits as he has with his sinister sculpture of Michael Jackson, or his sexually explicit photographic series with then-wife Cicciolina. The result is mega-artist status. An indisputable king of contemporary visual culture, Koons is lauded by collectors, institutions, and the public alike.
With landmark works and concise texts by Katy Siegel, Hans Werner Holzwarth, and Eckhard Schneider, this book offers the complete Koons at a glance, introducing an art world giant from his early inflatable flowers through to today.
American, b. 1955, York, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York
Jeff Koons plays with ideas of taste, pleasure, celebrity, and commerce. “I believe in advertisement and media completely,” he says. “My art and my personal life are based in it.” Working with seductive commercial materials (such as the high chromium stainless steel of his “Balloon Dog” sculptures or his vinyl “Inflatables”), shifts of scale, and an elaborate studio system involving many technicians, Koons turns banal objects into high art icons. His paintings and sculptures borrow widely from art-historical techniques and styles; although often seen as ironic or tongue-in-cheek, Koons insists his practice is earnest and optimistic. “I’ve always loved Surrealism and Dada and Pop, so I just follow my interests and focus on them,” he says. “When you do that, things become very metaphysical.” The “Banality” series that brought him fame in the 1980s included pseudo-Baroque sculptures of subjects like Michael Jackson with his pet ape, while his monumental topiaries, like the floral Puppy(1992), reference 17th-century French garden design.