Best known for his larger-than-life sculptures of balloon animals, Jeff Koons is an art world behemoth capable of exciting the media and drawing on celebrity contacts like no other living artist. His unprecedented rise since the mid-1980s has coincided with a huge upsurge in demand for art as a consumer commodity. Some critics have labeled his more garish works as Neo-kitsch and several of his pieces have overtly sexual themes, but… Read more
About the artwork
Koon's engagement with the banal and saccharine are encapsulated superbly with his four Art Magazine Ads. Although emphatically not ironic, these are instead deliberately provocative, challenging the art-viewing public to question the merits of high art and promoting popular culture. Indeed, each lithograph could have been lifted straight off a cheesy, light-hearted-movie poster about a wears-his-heart-on-the-sleeve bachelor in the late 1980s. Actually used to advertise his latest exhibition in the most prominent art magazines in America, Koons' lithographs brilliantly repelled potential negative reviews about his Banal Series in 1988 by pre-empting the criticism. Always a self-publicist, Koons would never miss the opportunity to have himself in the center of each work, but this is hardly surprising considering his appreciation of the commercial world, "I believe in advertisement and media completely. My art and my personal life are based in it."