Jeff KOONS (1955)

Other possible identifications: after, with workshop, manner

Advocating a visual culture of pleasure, recycling popular imagery with sophisticated technical means, Jeff Koons is one of the most famous Contemporary artists on the planet. Born in 1955 in the State of Pennsylvania, he studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) before moving to New York at the end of the 1970s. In the 1980s, his first works diverted everyday objects, seeking to understand “why and how consumer products can be glorified”. He drew his inspiration from the world of childhood, party objects and popular culture, including Popeye and Michael Jackson.

Balloons and giant hearts, his monumental works are a luxury form of kitsch, each realization requiring several years of work. Designed by Koons, the works are studied by technicians (even scientists), then produced in his workshop with around a hundred assistants. A sculpture like the giant Balloon Dog giant – three meters tall and weighing a ton – required six years of work and was finally available in five colors (blue, magenta, yellow, orange and red). In 2013, Balloon Dog (orange) reached $58.4 million at Christie’s in New York. In 2019, his Rabbit (1986) sculpture sold for $91 million at the same auctioneer. In the spirit of Warhol and Murakami, Koons wants to reach as many people as possible, especially through editions of works produced in runs of thousands.

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