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Jeff Koons (1955 - )

Related: contemporary art - USA

Ilona on top (Rose Background) (1990) - Cicciolina with Jeff Koons


Jeff Koons, the self-proclaimed "most written-about artist in the world," has attained "star" status. However, the Koons phenomenon -- Koons himself, his objects, and the discursive reception that surrounds it all -- seems gravely paradoxical. This problem arises because Koons is made out to be a critical commentator in the tradition of the Dadaists, a controversial figure in the footsteps of the avant-garde. Yet, Koons' art historical glory resides in the fact that he is flat -- no depth, all surface (even flatter than Warhol). This meaninglessness and banality, if nothing else, is his most important contribution to art. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Koons


In art photography, sex is most explicitly represented by Jeff Koons, whose narcissistic Made In Heaven series (1991) features the artist having sex with his then-wife, former porn model Ilona Cicciolina. Koons's photographs resemble pornography with their extreme close-ups of penetration (Ilona's Asshole) and their demeaning images of Koons ejaculating onto Cicciolina (Exaltation). The publishing house Taschen published Koons's photographs uncensored, and has now become synonymous with explicit art books; they excelled themselves with The Christy Report (2001) by Kim Christy and John Quinn, a pictorial history of hard-core porn. The Christy Report is an unofficial updating of Taschen's Forbidden Erotica (2000) by Mark Rotenberg and Laura Mirsky, a collection of Victorian hard-core images distinguished as perhaps the only book in Britain with an uncensored hard-core photograph as its cover image. Taschen are uniquely willing and able to publish these books, which are coffee-table tomes for only the most liberal of living rooms. --Matthew Hunt

Dirty - Jeff on top, 1991 - Jeff Koons

Dirty - Jeff on top, 1991 - Jeff Koons


  1. Jeff Koons - Eckard Schneider, Alison Gingeras, Alison M. Gingeras [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The man who enshrined a hoover vacuume and a basketball, who created a life-sized polychromed wood replica of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp Bubbles, who transfered his sex life with Italian porn star wife Ilona Staller onto canvas, and who made a monumental topiary sculpture in the shape of a puppy, is back. After a seven-year hiatus from the public eye, bad boy Jeff Koons returns in this comprehensive and overdue survey of his work of the past five years. Three elaborate, highly-produced series are presented, including the joyously effusive "Celebration," an ambitious body of 16 photo-realist paintings and 20 stainless steel sculptures that draw upon the symbols and objects associated with the observance of life's festive rituals. Essays by Eckard Schneider and Alison Gingeras. --amazon.com

    Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. The former Wall Street commodities broker rose to prominence in the mid-80s, and has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions, such as those seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Bilbao Guggenheim, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Koons currently lives in New York.

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