Hierarchy is alienating ( artist of the week: Jeff Koons)

Last Wednesday the Angel Orensanz Foundation blog talked about the hour master Christian Marclay, this time, we are showcasing another acclaimed American artist, the master of kitsch.

Born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania and New York-based Jeff Koons is America’s most famous living artist. The so-called “master of kitsch” is an ambitious perfectionist, he transforms banal items into sumptuous icons, experiments with digital technologies, produces photos in the manner of baroque paintings, and all his finish products have an exquisite appearance.

As he blends concepts of Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Appropriation Art with popular culture, he blurs the lines of “good taste” and makes his own unique iconography, often controversial and always engaging. More than that, his works explore the contemporary obsessions of sex, desire, race, gender, celebrities, media, commerce and fame, as he frames questions about taste and pleasure and shifts the scale of banal items. With that Jeff Koons puts kitsch in the same level as classical art.

“The hierarchy of things is a kind of defense mechanism that just alienates”. – Jeff Koon

His appropriations of our consumerist world and American culture remind us of Marcel Duchamp’s “Readymades” and Andy Warhol (who would complete 84 years this Monday, if he was still alive). His icons are stunning and spectacular and they speak to the society based on the tripod: sex, art and money.

In fact, Jeff Koons wants his art to communicate to everyone, the broader the audience the better, after all for him: “Art is really just communication of something and the more archetypal it is, the more communicative it is.”

This year, you can see a big part of his collection in the Beyer Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, where an extensive exhibition documents his artistic development over the past thirty years of practice through the lenses of three milestone series: ‘the new’, which showcases Koons’s earliest work, a series of readymade-like appliances and sculptures; ‘banality’, which includes sculptures in porcelain and wood, that take as their subject pop culture icons and Koons‘s most ambitious series to date ‘celebration’, a collection of hyper realistic large-scale stainless steel sculptures.

Also this year Jeff Koons appeared at the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series The Colbert Report for an interview with Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the show. Colbert synthesizes the American artist, or as he calls him: “The world’s most expensive birthday clown.” popularity very well: “A lot of them (pieces) are shiny, so when I look at them, I can see me, and then I’m interested in it.” Koons replies that they’re shiny for affirmation, to create an experience.

sources: designboom, economist, huffingtonpost, gagosian, pbs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

CBS New York

Breaking News, Sports, Weather, Traffic And The Best of NY

Creative Fireworks

Inspiration is NOT for sale

Gerri Sayler Artist

site-specific installations using fibers as sculptural media

The Painting Imperative

International Contemporary Painting Magazine

A Perspective Study

Inspiration in Design + Science


Spreading the Knowledge and Joy of Art and its History.


Daily chronicle of the art world for artists, gallery owners and collectors

Riva Weinstein

I walk. I find. I make. I make meaning.

Arts Diary 365

Posts, reviews, and comments by an art addict

M u s i n g s

Creative & Otherwise

what we LIKE NYC

a curated guide to New York City


Art lover, Community Builder, Digital Media Strategist

Ephemeral New York

Chronicling an ever-changing city through faded and forgotten artifacts



My Art Zone

by Diane Holmes

Canadian Art Junkie

Visual Arts from Canada & Around the World

%d bloggers like this: