Wikipedia About Jeff Koons
biography Jeff Koons, Let’s Entertain: Life’s Guilty Pleasures 2000
Since his emergence in the 1980s Jeff Koons has blended the concerns and methods of Pop, Conceptual, and appropriation art with craft-making and popular culture to create his own unique art iconography, often controversial and always engaging. His work explores contemporary obsessions with sex and desire; race and gender; and celebrity, media, commerce, and fame. A self-proclaimed “idea man,” Koons hires artisans and technicians to make the actual works. For him, the hand of the artist is not the important issue: “Art is really just communication of something and the more archetypal it is, the more communicative it is.” Let’s Entertain features Buster Keaton (1986), a painted wood sculpture, exaggerated in scale and hinting at rococo, that is really a seamless collage of banal images from mass culture. Keaton’s haunted, melancholy gaze seems to be searching for something, but we are left wondering what that might be. With a common material that the artist sees as connected to the “security of religion” and a subject that is definitively kitsch, this work is a comment on social hierarchy through the signifier of taste. Seemingly familiar, beautiful, and slightly absurd all at once, Buster Keaton gives visual pleasure to the audience, perhaps a guilty pleasure, at the same time as it questions monuments, reproductions, and taste, art and artifice, high and low. Koons has had a significant impact on a number of artists included in this exhibition. His retrospective Jeff Koons traveled to the Walker Art Center in 1993, and he was represented in the 1997 Venice Biennale.