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Jeff Koons

Let’s talk about Jeff Koons.

Although I would like to show you a lot more interesting photos from Chicago, it is time to leave for Cleveland.
That's why this is the last presentation from Chicago for the moment. Let's go once more to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Three photos of the work of Jeff Koons, one of the most controversial artists of our time.
Who doesn’t know his "Balloon Dog" made of polished, stainless steel "balloons" knotted together into a giant dog. (3½ × 1 × 3 meters)

Jeff Koons’ work is dominated by the themes banality and seduction. His work is appointed as postmodern, as camp, as überkitsch or as simply kitsch.
Koons knows like no other how to capture the time in which we live in recognizable images.
So recognizable that it is experienced by many as a kitsch.
But compare his work with the porcelain from Meissen that Krzysztof (Fis2) showed us some time ago.

If art is a mirror of the time in which it arises then Jeff Koons is undoubtedly a great artist.


■ Picture 1: ◄ Woman in Tub ►
Woman in Tub – 1988 – Porcelain
Woman in Tub combines cartoonlike rendering of a nude woman startled by a submerged snorkeler with the exquisite, hard-paste porcelain finish typical of 18th-century Rococo figurines. Part of Jeff Koons Banality series, which is characterized by oddly eroticized, comic, and kitsch images, this work personal taste -good or bad- as its primary subject. Koons has explained the work’s biographical origin:
“When I was a kid, my grandparents had an ashtray on a table in their television room. It was a small porcelain of a girl in a bathtub. It was white, with pink and blue details, and the legs went back and forth. As a kid, I was mesmerized. My Woman in Tub comes from that, though it also references [the toiletry scenes painted by] Manet and Degas….I had such an experience of awe looking at that
object.
(info Art Institute of Chicago.)

■ Picture 2: ◄ Christ and the Lamb ►
Christ and the Lamb - 1988 – Gilded wood and mirror
An elaborate, Rococo-style mirror, Christ and the Lamb is also a visual puzzle: its frame shapes the mirror surface into the figure of the infant Jesus playing with a lamb, taken from Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (1508; Louvre, Paris). Viewers thus see their own image superimposed on the body of Christ Child.
Koons has said, “Anything that reflects has a kind of spiritual transcendence because it involves the viewer. It acknowledges your presence. Every time you move, the reflection changes; it is always acknowledge you.” (info Art Institute of Chicago.)

■ Picture 3: ◄ Bourgeois Bust – Jeff and Ilona ►
Bourgeois Bust – Jeff and Ilona – 1991 – Marble
Jeff Koons originally made this work for his now notorious Made in Heaven exhibition, in which he explored concepts of love by referencing his own marriage to Italian porn star Ilona Staller ('Cicciolina').
He explains, “With Burgeois Bust, I wanted…to be able to bring Ilona’s body and my body down together in a point so that it’s heart -a symbol of love- and take the flesh and cut through it form it that way without any sense of violence.”
Here the couple appears within a traditional Baroque-style portrait bust like those of 18th-centurysculptor Antonio Canova. Bourgeois Bust sets intension the elegance of neoclassical sculpture and the irreverence of deploying its idealized terms in the postmodern era. (info Art Institute of Chicago.)

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Additional Photos by Rob Zwemmer (alvaraalto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5316 W: 324 N: 9777] (38348)
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