Jeff Koons

United States of America, 1955

Jeff Koons is well known for his large-scale balloon animals in stainless steel and reproductions of other every day objects. From desire, celebrity, commerce and sex, to race, gender, fame and the media, his work explores a wide variety of cultural ideas. By promoting the size of small, mundane items to high-end, high art, Koons has solidified himself with the art of mass culture. An conceptual evolution occurs in between when Koons’ chooses the kitsch objects for his work and the final piece, and this transformation often creates a surprising commentary. Koons effectively changes the size, color, and context of the initial objects to alter the viewer’s perspective and forces an examination about how these inanimate objects, animals, symbols should now be considered.

Born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1955, Koons studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Koons established himself in the neo-pop movement through installations that touched on consumerism and the human experience. Since his first show in 1980, Koons has continued to utilize many different styles including; ready-mades, conceptual and traditional craft. In 2014, the Whitney held the first retrospective of his work. Koons has also received the State Department's Medal of Arts, elected as a Fellow to the American Academy for Arts and Sciences, became an honorary member of the Royal Academy, London, and an officer of the French Legion of Honor. The artist lives and works in New York City.

Image: Photo by Chris Fanning