Jeff Koons is an American artist best known for his sculptures of balloon animals made from highly-polished stainless steel.
Facts About Jeff Koons
- Jeff Koons was born in Pennsylvania in 1955. His father was a furniture maker and his mother was a seamstress.
- When he was a child, he would sell wrapping paper door-to-door to earn his pocket money.
- He was a talented artist from a young age. He admired Salvador Dali, and as a teenager, he traveled on a bus to try and visit him at the St Regis Hotel in New York. Dali agreed to meet Koons, and he took him to see an exhibition of his work.
- Jeff Koons studied painting at Baltimore’s Maryland Institute College of Art and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- He moved to New York in 1977.
- He has worked as a commodities broker, a political canvasser, and at the membership desk on the New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
- He worked with physicist Richard Feynmann on the research for his Total Equilibrium Series, featuring basketballs suspended in the centre of a tank of distilled water.
- His work Rabbit, created in 1986, consists of a polished stainless steel cast of an inflatable rabbit toy.
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- Rabbit was sold at Christie’s Auction House in 2019 for more than $80,000,000.
- His Celebration series of works, features large-scale sculptures of balloon dogs, Valentine’s Hearts, and Easter eggs.
- For his Popeye series, Jeff Koons made stainless steel sculptures based on a plastic Popeye Action figure. His Hulk Elvis project focuses on combining images of the Incredible Hulk and the singer Elvis Presley in the form of bronze sculptures and oil paintings.
- Jeff Koons is often called the ‘King of Kitsch’.
- His work has influenced many artists, including Damien Hirst.
- He designed the cover of Lady Gaga’s album Artpop.
What type of art does Jeff Koons create?
His work is often labelled as Neo-Pop or Post-Pop. He takes inspiration from the work of Andy Warhol, elevating ordinary subject matter (balloon dogs, for example) into the realms of high art.
He employs around 100 people at his studio, and each has a specific role to play in the construction and creation of his works of art.
His work has been described as being the meeting point of pop art, the ready-made art of Marcel Duchamp, and the oversized sculptures of Claes Oldenburg.
Some of his sculptures can take years to complete.