Monday, September 22, 2014
This is artist Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog." (Note the people in the background, you'll get a sense of the huge size of this dog.)
The art of Jeff Koons is at the Whitney Museum till November. It is the first exhibit to fill all the museum's exhibition spaces, the biggest show, devoted to a single artist, that the Whitney has ever done.
Koons' art works are everywhere nowadays. Name drop the major most prestigious museums in the world -- they have displayed Koons' "Balloon Dog," as well as reproductions of his gigantic "Popeye," and the "Hulk."'
Many galleries have also displayed Koons' amazing porcelain and gold "Michael Jackson" sculpture, and the anatomically unambiguous sculpture of Koons having sex with his first wife. (When this sculpture was first shown back in 1990, Koons declared, "I'm not interested in pornography, I'm interested in the spiritual, to be able to show people that they can have impact, to achieve their desires.")
Two years ago Koons' Tulips" (stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces) was sold for a record-breaking $33.7 million at Christie's. It was recently sold again for $58. 4 million, the highest amount ever paid to a living artist.
After the opening at the Whitney, at the high society party at the elegant Frick Collection Museum, the always friendly, polite Koons pointed out breasts, testicles, and phalluses on the Frick's fabulous bronzes as well as his own work, and shocked everyone. (The media said, "he busted taboos in snootsville.")
The 59-year-old artist, from York, Pennsylvania, is heralded by some critics as a pioneer. Others dismiss his work as crass kitsch. A New York Times article on Koons quoted a famous art critic, who called Koons' art, "cat excrement."
Koons' approach to art is evident at his huge studio in NYC, where he employee 90 assistants, who -- using paint-by-the-numbers techniques -- create the reproductions that are being exhibited and praised by major critics everywhere. Here's what Koons says about his work.
No doubt about it, this artist's creative process and success says a lot about today's world and culture.
Igg -- that's my instinctive reaction to the balloon dogs, steel tulips, as well as the sex sculpture. Maybe his art is just not my cup of tea, or I'm reacting to what I feel, and don't like about Koons' York, PA mentality. It's prejudice based on my growing up years in Harrisburg, PA, with kids like Jeff, noting from class reunion letters what they aren't and ARE -- for many of them, money is God, is status, the true measure of success -- the most important thing in life.
Despite my Igg, I think Jeff Koons' art may be where art is heading.
Artist Jeff Koons has created stunning, astounding works -- more than 150 objects over the years. If you haven't made up your mind about liking or disliking his art, click the link -- you'll enjoy the commentary from Britain's Daily Mail and their video of Koons at the Whitney.