Jeff Koons: ordinary or extraordinary?

Jeff Koons, an american artist that operates in a three-dimensional realm while giving common day-to-day items a whole new meaning.

Mr. Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania and as a child he went door to door after school selling gift-wrapping paper and candy to earn pocket money. As a teenager he admired Salvador Dali so much that he visited him at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City.


He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After college, he moved to New York in 1977 and worked at the membership desk of the Museum of Modern Art while establishing himself as an artist.


Rose to prominence in the mid-1980s as art of a generation of artists who explored the meaning of art in a media-saturated era. Jeff Koons 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.


Koons’s work is in numerous public collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), The Broad Art Foundation (Santa Monica, CA), The National Gallery (Washington, DC), Tate Gallery (London, UK), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Museum Ludwig (Köln, Germany), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan).

4woman-in-tub-jeff-koonsIn 2008 Jeff Koons held major art exhibitions at public institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Celebration sculptures shown on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, and an exhibition at the Palace of Versailles which opened its doors to a living artist for the first time with Jeff Koons: Versailles.

Recently the Royal Academy of Arts presented Koons with the John Singleton Copley Award, he also received The Governor’s Awards for the Arts Distinguished Arts Award and President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur.



Balloon dog is one the best-known work of Koons. It is considered a monumental work, with flawless reflective surface and glorious color. This banal dog form has been celebrated around the world and become an icon ‘of popular vernacular’ loved by the public and collectors. This sculpture represent the hope and innocence that exist in our childhood, while creating the illusion of weightlessness with reflective stainless steel of gigantic proportions.


However, not everyone loves Jeff or what he stands for. Controversial, as many artists, Koons is called by many a “recycler and regurgitator of the obvious, which he proceeds to aggrandize in the most obvious way imaginable, by producing oversized versions of cheap stuff in extremely expensive materials…  His work is the apotheosis of Walmart.”


Proclaimed by some as a successor to Duchamp and by others a panderer, Koons does generate a lot of heat with his sculptures.

 I wonder ordinary or extraordinary?