Ever heard the saying ‘The body is the reflection of the materiality of our existence’ ? yes sounds familiar to the last post (hopefully I’m not just talking to myself too much) –
One particular artist who the embodiment of this is Jeff Koons.
Koons works with a variety of media, ranging from metal, ceramics, acrylic, painting, photography and monumental sculptures in living materials. The artist reflects in his work the materialistic age and society that we live in nowadays. This both attracts and repulses viewers to his work, society looks upon itself and is disgusted by what it sees. Jeff Koons’ aesthetic and working methods borrow in no little way from various sources, sources that have both been a reaction to and a reflection of society.
In his works one can clearly see how Koons employs the used of the ‘readymade’ the appropriated object directly referencing and employing the same attitude as Marcel Duchamp who in the early Twentieth century challenged the very meaning of art and what art should stand for. Koons’ wide and varied range of materials also mirrors the exaggerated wealth and decadence of the late Baroque and Rococo periods from which Koons also frequently borrows aesthetic and compositional elements.
His exhibition in the palace of Versailles was no coincidence with his work perfectly fitting in the ambiance and looking as if it was part of a time that has been buried a long time ago.
..As was with DADA in the early Twentieth century his work is a challenge to what art is or should be as well as what it shouldn’t be. His work provokes mixed reactions for the banality of subject matter that the artist frequently chooses to portray.
The manner in which Jeff Koons produces his art is also an important aspect in his work, rarely touching anything himself he produces work through skilled assistants that work as if on a production line employing the use of the latest technologies and industrial processes that belong more to consumer oriented industry than to the realm of fine art.
By super sizing everything and recreating banal objects in materials that are worth much more than the original he creates this cheap and plastic world that is essentially a caricature of the world nowadays and the society that inhabits it. The caricature becomes a sort of hyper reality that is both very attractive and very disgusting.