“I like to think that when you leave the room, the art leaves the room. Art is about your own possibilities as a human being. It’s about your own excitement, your own potential, and what you can become. It affirms your existence.”
Jeff Koons (b. York, Pennsylvania, 1955) is best known for his sculptures, known for their reflective surfaces, and paintings with saturated color and imagery drawn from cartoons and advertisements. He studied at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Koons briefly worked as a broker on Wall Street before devoting himself to art. The artist tends to work in series and is interested in both popular culture and celebrity, bringing kitsch objects into high art. His Banality series featured recognizable figures; the famed Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988), featuring Jackson and his pet monkey rendered in gold leaf and porcelain, exemplifies the series. He has also created sculptures based on Popeye, the Hulk, and inflatable toys, notably balloon dogs. He currently holds the auction record for the highest price paid for a work made by a living artist for his sculpture Rabbit, which sold at a Christie’s for $91.1 million. Though he is controversial, he maintains that his art is meant to be taken at face-value and to recall childhood in order to cause the viewer to have a transcendent experience.