Biography of Jeff Koons
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. Whatever the categorization, his work has always stretched the boundaries of what could be called “art” and in so doing has sensationally explored our relationship to contemporary life.
Rejecting any meaning in his work and viewing irony as a distraction from the art itself, Jeff Koons wants his work to be perceived in the immediacy of the initial glance. Born in Pennsylvania in 1955, Jeff Koons finished art school and started working at the membership desk of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He first achieved critical success with Rabbit (1986) a 41-inch steel sculpture of an inflatable rabbit. This move toward consumerist decadence precipitated sudden and astonishing attention on the artist.
The artist enjoyed a retrospective in 2014 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. He has exhibited his work in all major art capitals around the world and featured in two Venice Biennales in 1990 and 1997. Jeff Koons also holds the record for the most expensive work ever sold at auction by a living artist—Balloon Dog (Orange), 1994-2000 sold in 2013 for an extraordinary $58.4 million at Christie’s.