Koons' work derives inspiration from items we have all grown up with like toys, pladoh and ballon animals. His subject matters include vacuums, basket balls and porcelain trinkets not normally considered to be fine art. Koons challenges us to view everyday items we've grown up with from a new perspective. He draws inspiration from Warhol and other early adopters of the art pop movement. His intention is to touch you in a deep emotional level, bringing out memories of the past and forcing you to evaluate our own sense of being. With these reflective figures we see ourselves and our past in the reflection. His steel ballon dogs are probably his best known work put together from childhood memories into an enduring form.
"I try to be a truthful artist and I try to show a level of courage."
Born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955, Jeff Koons has become one of the most successful artists of all time. A controversial figure for sure, Koons likes the idea of using banal objects and glorifying them into undeniably beautiful mirror finished stainless steel sculptures. His art has broken records at auction houses for price paid for work from a living artists. Koons' work forces critics to choose sides, fine art or kitsch. Love or hate his work, there is no doubt that Jeff Koons makes us pay attention.
By challenging fine art collectors to revise what is considered art, Koons has been able to capture the collecting audience with the most discerning and critical tastes. Koons is not afraid to promote his art as simply unapologetic crowd pleasing work. A true marketeer, Koons is a departure from the vision of the loaner artist exploring deep hard to understand emotion, who is in it for the art and not the financial gains. Koons promotes his art work with the effectiveness of the best Madison Ave. marketing executive, and he's ok with that. Never whiling to admit if his work is overpriced, he looks at it as a moment in time where others have placed significant value to the importance of the cultural definition of our time and of the work.
Much in the same way Marcel Duchamp challenged viewers to see the art in basic everyday objects, Koons essentially does the same but strips any practical use of the item, makes them shine and presents them as art. Paying attention to the aesthetics of the work, Koons hand is not in it. Much like an architect, he doesn't lay the brick down, he only directs the work. He likes to touch on subjects of religion, high culture, childhood memories and eroticism.
Among the first artists to cast himself as a populist, Koons embraced "kitsch" and garnered recognition from the most high end collectors of the world.
Controversial? yes, successful? yes, artist, depends who you ask.