Jeff Koons: Popeye Series
Foreword by Julia Peyton Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist. Text by Frederic Tuten, Arthur C. Danto, Dorothea von Hantelmann. Conversation with Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Jeff Koons’s Popeye series, begun in 2002, incorporates some of the artist’s signature themes and motifs: the surrealistic combination of everyday objects, cartoon imagery, outsized scale, art-historical references and children’s toys. The sculptures reproduced here continue Koons’s fondness for casting inflatable toys in aluminum—carefully painted to resemble supple plastic—which he juxtaposes here with unaltered everyday objects, such as chairs or garbage cans. The Popeye paintings are complex and layered compositions that combine disparate images both found and created by Koons (including images of the sculptures in the series). The instantly recognizable figures of Popeye and Olive Oyl are central, and recur across several key works within the book. Frederic Tuten, Arthur C. Danto and Dorothea von Hantelmann provide commentary on this fun body of work, which Koons discusses in a conversation with Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Publisher: Walther König, Köln
Artists: Jeff Koons
Contributors: Arthur C. Danto, Julia Peyton Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Frederic Tuten, Dorothea von Hantelmann
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8 3/4 x 10 in (22.2 x 25.4 cm)
Reproductions: 37 color
Retail: $39.95 US & Canada | £24 | €30
One of the most prominent artists working today, Jeff Koons is well known for his bold paintings and sculptures. Typically working in series, his art holds up a mirror to contemporary consumer culture, using the photorealistic, commercial aesthetic familiar from an earlier generation of Pop artists to generate his own unique and universally recognizable style. His subjects range from toys to inflatables to household items to luxury goods and sexualized imagery. His references to popular media are evidenced not merely in his choice of subject matter but also in his visual techniques: his sculptures often involve smooth, glistening surfaces while his paintings employ bright and saturated colors.