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
It is no surprise that this piece was made in 1986, at the heart of the America's most prosperous decade, when New York was dripping in wealth and Reagan's "trickle down" economics were in full-swing. Here Koons renders an elegant bar set in metal instead of cut crystal, robbing the Baccarat crystal of its transparency and value as a high-end product and in so doing intensifying the sense of sickly prosperity. The act of casting objects such as these in precious metals and putting them on a pedestal celebrates as much as it critiques modern consumer culture.