For my second blog post, I will talk about contemporary artist Jeff Koons. His most current work includes making massive steel sculptures of ordinary objects, such as balloon animals. Based in both New York and Pennsylvania, Koons has had a somewhat controversial past. His first wife was a porn star, with whom he created a series of explicit paintings that was ultimately rejected. Discouraged by both his lack of success and rapidly failing marriage, he started making sculptures of children’s toys in dedication and remembrance of his son whom he had lost custody over. This eventually began what he calls “The Celebration Series”. He claims that pieces such as the giant inflatable bunny and the stainless steel balloon dog were not intended to have any deeper meaning for the public; they are regular objects to be simply enjoyed upon viewing.
While I think Jeff Koons has had a little too much time on his hands in the past and takes himself too seriously most of the time, I do enjoy his Celebration series because he is right in that these objects are made and looked at for the sole purpose of enjoyment. It makes people happy to see a giant, pink, steel balloon dog in the middle of New York City. I like that this series has absolutely nothing to do with anything. While Koons’ style usually focuses on more explicit images and attempts to convey guilt, shame, and raw emotion, I think the Celebration series is more successful because it creates a reaction without intending to. The viewer is subtly reminded of childhood experiences and good memories, without the artist having to make a point. His use of color in Celebration is also successful; bright pinks and blues and yellows furthers that sensation of being a kid again.
His official website is http://www.jeffkoons.com .