«I try to be a sincere artist and I try to show a level of courage. I like this. I am a messenger.»
Jeffrey Koons, simply known as Jeff Koons (York - Pennsylvania, 21 January 1955), is an American artist considered an icon of the neo-pop style and known for his works in kitsch style, that ironically illustrate the american way of life and its tendency to the consumerism.
In the second halves of the 70's he frequents for two years the important Art Institute of Chicago, where he has the opportunity to follow the lessons of the famous teacher and painter Ed Pasche. In 1977 he moves to New York, where he abandons the formality of traditional painting, embracing so the conceptual artistic tide; in this period he draws inspiration from particular artists such as Martin Kippensberger and Robert Smithson.
During his career, Koons expressed through the use of an ample range of techniques such as sculpture, painting, installations and photo and the use of different materials among which pigments, plastics, inflatable, marble, metals and porcelain.
The artist is generally defined as heir of Andy Warhol and continuator of the pop art and he is often also associate to Marcel Duchamp, of which Koons reinterprets the technique of the ready-made.
Therefore his art is indissolubly tied up to the culture of mass and the society of the consumerism, with which Koons establishes an ambiguous relationship: on one side the culture of mass is his principal source of inspiration, while from the other his works express an explicit criticism with some intelligent irony toward the banality and the superficiality of the consumerism.
What strikes therefore of Jeff Koons' art is his contradictory, his ability to express a strong criticism towards the modern society and the american way of life using the same tools that feed this system: the artist desecrates that society that has made him rich and famous (and continuous to do it).
Today Jeff Koons is considered one of the richest artists in the world and is very desired in the field of the contemporary art market. The value of his works is grown in dizzy way in the last years. "Balloon dog", the famous sculpture representing a dog done with the toy balloons made in 1990 in five different colors, has been in fact sold in the auction of Christie's in the 12th November 2013 in New York for 58,4 million dollars. An artwork of a living artist never reached such a value up to that moment .