"Jeff Koons is among the most controversial and intriguing artists to have emerged in the past decade. Like Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol before him, he is concerned with the transformation of everyday objects into art and takes such post-modern issues as high and low culture, context, and commodification of art as the central focus of his work."
Nov/Dec 2000 issue of At the Modern, the publication of the San Francisco MoMA
in past years has attained what can only be described as 'star
' status. He professes that he is the most written about artist in the world. His appeal is not in some hidden depth within his work, but in the lack of it. His work is completely 'flat
', moreso than Warhol
, in that is made up entirely of surface.
He has borrowed ideas and techniques from Duchamp, originally exhibiting blow-up plastic toys in art galleries. He has been exhibiting average and every day objects in a different context, reflecting various aspects of 20th century American consumerism - the banality and monotony of the lifestyle.
It is not so much the aesthetic of his work that is important. In fact, the process of physically producing the art is often left to a team of artists under Koons' not-so-strict supervision. The ideas within his art are what is important - or at least that's what he likes to propagate.
One of his most famous works, Michael Jackson with Bubbles (part of his Banality series), had him cast the celebrity and his pet chimpanzee into an oversized figurine based on a publicity photograph. Their faces are plastered with make-up that provides an eternally smiling visage. They are intentionally dressed uniformly so that it is hard to tell where Jackson stops and Bubbles begins. (In fact, there are actually 5 hands, as if Jackson is both cradling and hugging the monkey with his left arm simultaneously)
While their image is undeniably attractive, at least in some fashion, the glazed ceramics leave the work feeling cold and hollow. It is this aspect of the work that gives over the feeling of the superficiality that is celebrity - a person who, no matter how much media attention they receive, we can never really know.