New Yorker, Jeff Koons, has become one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial artists of the post-pop era. His work is celebrated and recognized worldwide for his unmatched originality and charisma. From pioneering new approaches to the readymade, setting new boundaries between advanced art and mass culture, and even testing the limits of industrial fabrication. Jeff Koons brings influence from artists like Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, Claes Oldenburg, Coosje van Bruggen, H. C. Westermann, and marriages his love for surrealism and pop art though his taboo-busting works of art.
Jeff Koons‘ Exhibition at Guy Hepner, includes sculpture and prints, The Balloon Venus, The Pink Bow, and Monkey Train Prints, which are just a few examples of Koons’ creative risks that power his pop-culture supremacy and explore contemporary obsessions with sex and desire, race and gender, and celebrity, media, commerce, and fame.
Jeff Koons’ “Antiquity Series” tackles most directly the themes of acceptance, humanity, and essential life patterns that repeatedly surface throughout his career. Signature of his work, The Balloon Venus is playful and impactful. It is made of a mirror-polished stainless steel of transparent color coating, an adaptation of Jeff Koons’ monumental sculpture and has also been seen in collaboration with the prestigious Brand Dom Perignon. The piece is based on the Iconic, “Venus of Willendorf”, an 11cm tall Paleolithic figurine discovered in Austria in 1908, dating 23,000 BC and considered to be one of the earliest known depictions of the human form. It “proposes a new kind of idol, a modern-day goddess of love who embraces her beholder in reflective curves and suggests fecundity and creation,” Koons explains, representing the continuity of the human experience symbolized by Venus. Jerry Saltz at artnet.com enthused that it was possible to be “wowed by the technical virtuosity and eye-popping visual blast” of Koons’ art.
“And so I always desire to be able to give a viewer a sense of themselves being packaged, to whatever level they’re looking for. Just to instill a sense of self-confidence, self-worth. That’s my interest in Pop.” Says Jeff Koons. The Pink Bow belongs to the 1990 “Celebration Series” which elevates commercial objects from the gift industry such as hearts, diamonds, easter eggs and bows to the level of artistic icons. In the Pink Bow, Koons adopts the metallic and iridescent colors creating a seductive surface. The object is inflated to significantly increase its life-size, hence taking the simple metallic wrapping foil out of its context and giving it a life of its own, oscillating between monstrosity and seduction, pleasure and distaste. The Pink Bow is the exaltation of a banal package material and has even become The Official Art Print Edition 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, a collectible edition, and an Official Licensed Product of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
Since his famous “Banality Series” of 1988, Jeff Koons has been creating artworks that sit on the borderline of kitsch and critique, plumbing the imagery of mass culture. In the Monkey Train silkscreens, Koons layers the image of balloon shaped like a cartoon monkey on top of a negative print of a train in orange. These prints continue to borrow from some of his most iconic subjects, by juxtaposing inflatable toy monkeys over historical images of industry and transport, Koons plays with pleasure, celebrity, commerce, and taste. Although often seen as ironic or tongue-in-cheek, Koons insists his practice is earnest and optimistic.