Essay by Francesco Bonami. Conversation with Jeff Koons and Lynne Warren
In 1975, a young art student named Jeff Koons (b. 1955) moved to Chicago, where he studied at the School of the Art Institute; worked as a studio assistant to his hero, painter Ed Paschke, for $1 an hour; and socialized with many of the city’s most talented artists. This handsome book takes a fresh look at the rise and career of Jeff Koons, who is now arguably one of the world’s most famous artists.
Koons collaborated extensively on this book, which accompanies the first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. in 16 years and offers a survey of nearly thirty years of his work, beginning with iconic sculptures from 1979 to new paintings completed in 2007. Francesco Bonami reconsiders his career, making intriguing connections to the work of Andy Warhol, A. A. Milne, Marcel Duchamp, and Gustave Courbet, among others. This is the first publication to explore a little-known but highly influential period in the artist’s career––his time in Chicago in the 1970s. It also provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to Koons’s work for new audiences and short texts about each of his series and many major works.
Publisher: Yale University Press / Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Artists: Jeff Koons
Contributors: Francesco Bonami, Jeff Koons, Lynne Warren
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 10 x 10 in (25.4 x 25.4 cm)
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.