Jeff Koons

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Jeff Koons – (born January 21, 1955)
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American artist known for his reproductions of banal objects—such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror-finish surfaces. He lives and works in both New York City and his hometown of York, Pennsylvania.His works have sold for substantial sums of money, including at least one world record auction price for a work by a living artist.[1] On November 12, 2013, Koons's Balloon Dog (Orange) sold at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York City for US$58.4 million, above its high US$55 million estimate, becoming the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.[2] The price topped Koons's previous record of US$33.7 million[3] and the record for the most expensive living artist, held by Gerhard Richter, whose 1968 painting, Domplatz, Mailand, sold for US$37.1 million at Sotheby's on May 14, 2013.[4] Balloon Dog (Orange) was one of the first of the Balloon Dogs to be fabricated, and had been acquired by Greenwich collector Peter Brant in the late 1990s.

Critics are sharply divided in their views of Koons. Some view his work as pioneering and of major art-historical importance. Others dismiss his work as kitsch, crass, and based on cynical self-merchandising. Koons has stated that there are no hidden meanings in his works,[6] nor any critiques.[

Jeff Koons rose to prominence in the mid-1980s as part of a generation of artists who explored the meaning of art in a media-saturated era.[15] He gained recognition in the 1980s and subsequently set up a factory-like studio in a SoHo loft on the corner of Houston Street and Broadway in New York. It was staffed with over 30 assistants, each assigned to a different aspect of producing his work—in a similar mode as Andy Warhol's Factory (notable because all of his work is produced using a method known as art fabrication).[16] Today, he has a 1,500 m2 (16,000 sq ft) factory near the old Hudson rail yards[17] in Chelsea, working with 90 to 120[17] regular assistants.[9] Koons developed a color-by-numbers system, so that each of his assistants[18] could execute his canvases and sculptures as if they had been done "by a single hand".[8] "I think art takes you outside yourself, takes you past yourself. I believe that my journey has really been to remove my own anxiety. That's the key. The more anxiety you can remove, the more free you are to make that gesture, whatever the gesture is. The dialogue is first with the artist, but then it goes outward, and is shared with other people. And if the anxiety is removed everything is so close, everything is available, and it's just this little bit of confidence, or trust, that people have to delve into."

 

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