Jeff Koons is an American artist best known for working with pop (popular culture) objects and his reproductions of “banal” objects. He lives and works in New York city and belongs amongst those few contemporary artists who became famous and acceptable while being still alive!
His characteristic balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror-finished surfaces are trademarks of his unique artistic style and visual perspective. His works have been acquired by private collectors and museums around the world for substantial sums.
Not surprisingly, critics are seriously divided in their views of Koons’ work. Some of them consider his work as pioneering and of valuable historical importance in art history, while other describe it as “kitsch, crass and self-merchadising”. Koons himself has stated that there is no hidden meaning in his entire work, nor any critiques!
His work series of the “Gazing Balls” begun in 2013. It is named after the glass lawn ornaments often founds around homes in suburban America. Those balls were first used in Victorian gardens and in different American lawns or gardens standing for symbolic ornaments to welcome neighbors. In different cultures, these spheres are associated with divination, protection and afterlife.
Koons uses those balls along with paintings or plaster objects figures – replicas of prototypes –in a powerful and interesting way. The spheres, which are made of hand-blown glass capture the attention of the viewer, while at the same time, they reflect everything around the exhibitions space. The “replicas” of the famous art works and the plaster figures which resemble well-know personas, are simply used as vessels which support the gazing ball! In a way, those works are sharing some of the ball’s glow in order to stand out.
Koons, has without a doubt a genius personality. He is one of the most controversial contemporary artists today who always manages to attract people’s attention. His work is seemingly simple, however, it makes deep comments related to people’s perceptions and the way things work in our days. He is an important artist today and art history is to prove his value in the future!