Born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955, artist Jeff Koons made a name for himself by using everyday objects in special installations that relate to the human experience and consumerism. It is not uncommon for him to use overtly sexual themes while others have been seen as a form of neo-kitsch, such as his balloon dogs.
Koons’ first show was staged in 1980, and he emerged onto the art scene with a style that blended several existing styles—pop, conceptual, craft, appropriation—to create his own unique mode of expression. In 1988, he debuted a famous sculpture of Michael Jackson with his monkey.
His work often takes on hot button issues such as sex, fame, and gender. He brings them to life in forms such as balloons, bronzed sporting-good items and inflatable pool toys. The art of Jeff Koons speaks about a mighty good life, taking on various forms of desire and beauty in the most physical sense of the words. He even married a porn star, which is probably a fulfillment of a stereotypical bachelor’s fantasy (and, naturally, that story was also translated into a work of art). Jeff Koons holds at least one world record for the most expensive work by a living artist, sold at auctions – and it is his Orange Balloon Dog purchased from a telephone buyer for a total price of $58.4 million.
In 2007 he was a part of the Macy’s Parade with his silver Mylar Rabbit - a version of a 1986 work originally rendered in metal. He has also done solo shows at the château de Versailles in France (2008–09), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2008), the Helsinki City Art Museum (2005), the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo (2004) and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (2003). "Michael Jackson and Bubbles," the larger-than-life gilded porcelain sculpture of the late artist and his cherished pet chimpanzee, returned to New York.
Koons has been the receipient of many awards throughtout his career. Some of the more notable ones are the State Department's Medal of Arts (awarded by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2012) and becoming an honorary member of the Royal Academy, London (2010), and an officer of the French Legion of Honor (2007). Koons was also elected as a Fellow to the American Academy for Arts and Sciences in 2005.
His impact on pop culture will live on for a lifetime throughout his many collaborations with some of the most iconic people of our time. Lady Gaga commissioned Koons to create artwork for her 2013 album, "Artpop"; Pharrell Williams collects his work; Jay Z name-checked him in "Picasso Baby"; and Kim Kardashian posted an Instagram photo of the artist with her and Kanye West's infant daughter, North, at Art Basel Miami Beach in December. The caption read: "Art Lessons!"
In 2010, Koons collaborated with BMW to paint their M3 GT2 race car for the 24 Hours of Lemans race. He has also displayed some of his largest works at the Tishman Speyer-owned Rockefeller Center. In 2000 it was his flower puppy display, In 2014 the Split-rocker, and currently on display the giant 45 foot tall inflatable ballerina.
Jeff’s work is currently available in both New York City and Los Angeles. The 'Seated Ballerina' could be found at the Rockefeller Center May 12 - June 2, 2017 in New York and in a small exhibit at the Gagosian Beverly Hills until August 18, 2017 in Los Angeles.
Get inspired by Jeff Koons' pop art and check out the Cadillac x Andy Warhol Creative Invite.