Jeff Koons
“The difference with show
business and politics lies
solely in the fact that the
artist is freer.”
Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons
In 1975, a young art student moved to
Chicago, where he studied at The
School of the Art Institute and worked
as a studio assistant to his hero, painter
Ed Paschke, for $1 an hour.
Jeff Koons is now one of the world’s
most famous artists.
Connections to his work can be made
to Andy Warhol...
Jeff Koons
Since 1979 Koons has been making sculptures
and paintings that challenge assumptions
about art. Successor to the tradiotions of
surrealism and pop. Many artists of his
generation were experimenting with
appropriation and engaging with the objects
and imagery of mass culture.
“His work presents a panorama of our
culture’s desires, fantasies, absurdities,
banalities, and delights...” Madeleine
Grynsztejn Director, Museum of
Contemporary Art, Chicago
Jeff Koons
To appropriate something involves taking
possession of it. In the visual arts, the term
appropriation often refers to the use of borrowed
elements in the creation of new work. The
borrowed elements may include images, forms or
styles from art history or from popular culture, or
materials and techniques from non-art contexts.
Since the 1980s the term has also referred more
specifically to quoting the work of another artist
to create a new work. The new work does not
actually alter the original per se; the new work
uses the original to create a new work. In most
cases the original remains accessible as the
original, without change.
Jeff Koons
Michael Jackson and Bubbles, porcelain 1988
42 x 70.5 x 32.5 in
Jeff Koons
…the gospel of consumerism, and new saints
appear: Buster Keaton, The Beatles, Michael
Jackson, the Pink Panther. In Michael Jackson and
Bubbles (1988) the pop singer and his monkeysurge
from a bed of flowers like a hybrid between a
classical Renaissance sculpture of Virgin and Child,
a rococo centrepiece, and a souvenir from an
imaginary Wonderland gift shop. To be able to
embrace the past you need to be able to accept it as
part of the present, accept that the present is
informed by the past.”
Francesco Bonami
Artistic Director & Curator
Michael Jackson and Bubbles, porcelain 1988
42 x 70.5 x 32.5 in
Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons
Hulk Elvis I 2007
Jeff Koons
Auto 2001
Jeff Koons
Couple 2001
Jeff Koons
Thinking & Inquiry
According to John Berger in Ways of Seeing, when we
look at a work of art, we are affected by a whole series
of learnt assumptions concerning:
Which of these is most important when considering
artwork? Would you add anything to the list? Can you
talk about the work of Jeff Koons using anything on this
Jeff Koons
Thinking & Inquiry
Aim of work to date:
Question learnt assumptions about
art and how it is created.
Compare & contrast the work of
Jeff Koons and…
•Marcel Duchamp
•Andy Warhol
•Damien Hirst