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Jeff Koons is one of the most popular contemporary American artists. His neo-pop aesthetic and conceptual prowess borrow heavily from consumer culture.
Born Jeffrey Koons on January 21, 1955 in York, Pennsylvania, the artist studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but it was in finance that he began his career as a broker on Wall Street. Jeff Koons managed to combine his talents in the stock market and his passion for art by becoming the best investment of the 20th century.
Jeff Koons will be particularly marked by the iconography of advertising and American pop art of the 1980s. Consumer objects and everyday utensils will gain in value in his hands. He will take up the principle of Marcel Duchamp's "ready made" and elevate them to the status of works of art, starting with vacuum cleaners or basketballs.
Particularly fond of kitsch, Jeff Koons will exploit this vein to the full and conquer collectors around the world. He uses the icons of popular culture labeled USA to add them to this aesthetic. Michael Jackson freezes in a white and golden porcelain, Popeye shimmers like a stainless steel balloon and the Hulk inflates with air in anger.
Both Jeff Koons' fame and his work took a turn in 1991, when the artist married pornographic actress Ilona Anna Staller, also known as Cicciolina. Together they made the sultry work "Made In Heaven", where the couple is staged and plays on eroticism and more if ambiguous. It is an absolute media success that increases the reputation and fame of Jeff Koons.
In his Balloon Dog series (1994 - 2000), we feel the weight through the use of mirror-polished steel that is missing from the original inflatable version. His work, Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for a whopping $58.4 million at auction in 2013, made him the most prolific living artist of the time.
We only have a few works by this artist at the moment. Interested in seeing more?
Maryland Institute College of Art
2010 : Popeye sculpture, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris21
2014- 2015 :
In 2014, Jeff Koons was ranked by ArtReview magazine in the top 10 of the "Power 100" (ranking of the 100 most influential people in the contemporary art world). He went from 56th place to 7th