Jeff Koons poses next to Balloon Swan - 2012
Born in Pennsylvania in 1955, artist Jeff Koons made a name for himself by using everyday objects in special installations that touched on consumerism and the human experience. Some of his art has consisted of overtly sexual themes while others have been seen as a form of neo-kitsch, such as his balloon animals.
Koons’ first show was staged in 1980, and he emerged onto the art scene with a style that blended several existing styles—pop, conceptual, craft, appropriation—to create his own unique mode of expression. An “idea man,” Koons now runs his studio as he would a production office, often using computer-aided design and hiring out the actual construction of his pieces to technicians who can bring to life his ideas with more precision than he himself could.
“There are certain artworks that I respond to, artists that I respond to. It's an intellectual reaction but it's also a biological reaction. And the excitement that the work can generate - how it makes you feel about not only your intellectual possibilities but your physical possibilities in this world. How it feels to be alive!”
Jeff Koons’ work takes on, in usually unconventional ways, such hot-button subjects such as sex, pornography, race, gender and fame, and it comes to life in forms such as balloons, bronzed sporting-goods items and inflatable pool toys. His knack for elevating the stature of such items from kitsch objects to high art has made his name synonymous with the art of mass culture.