Edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth. Text by Eckhard Schneider, Katy Siegel, and Ingrid Sischy
From kinky to kitsch to conceptual, Jeff Koons’s art is anything but conformist. Since he stirred up the art world establishment in the 1980s with his unapologetic basketball sculptures and stainless steel toy blow-ups, Koons has been known as somewhat of a bad boy—a reputation he confirmed in the early 1990s via works depicting him having sex with then-wife Cicciolina, the Italian porn star-cum-politician. But at the same time he charmed the art world with Puppy, a 40-foot tall floral terrier that now resides at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Koons’s exploitation of the banal, in the aggrandizement and/or embodiment of kitsch and pop imagery, has become his trademark; detractors may delight in their naysaying, but Koons’s work commands millions at auction and his position at the forefront of contemporary art is indisputable.
This exhaustive monograph begins with a biographical essay by Ingrid Sischy who tells the personal story of a dedicated artist unwilling to compromise his work even in torrid times. An essay by Eckhard Schneider sees Koons from a European perspective. Arranged in chronological chapters by work groups, the main body of the book features art historian and critic Katy Siegel’s detailed analyses alongside hundreds of large-format images, tracing Koons’s career from 1979 to today. Fans of Jeff Koons’s work will find in this publication not only a sumptuous book-object, but also the most comprehensive study of the artist’s work ever published.
Artists: Jeff Koons
Contributors: Hans Werner Holzwarth, Eckhard Schneider, Katy Siegel, Ingrid Sischy
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9 3/4 x 13 in (24.8 x 33 cm)
Reproductions: Illustrated throughout
Retail: $70 US & Canada
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.