American pop artist Jeff Koons is taking over the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
One of the world’s most famous artists, Koons set a price record for any living artist when his orange ‘Balloon Dog’ sold for $58.4 million last year.
His oversized toylike sculptures fill nearly the entire museum. It is the most comprehensive exhibition of Koons' work and the Whitney’s final show at its Madison Avenue location before it moves downtown to a Renzo Piano-designed building next year.
Many of the 150 works on display have never been exhibited publicly before.
“I want the visitor to really have an exciting connection to Jeff’s work. I feel that it’s extremely accessible art to a large public. At the same time it speaks in a very sophisticated manner to people inside the art world and I think it’s a rare artist who can really communicate on both those fronts. I also hope that people get a sense of the diversity of Jeff’s work beyond the most famous icons, that there is a lot more to see about this artist that people often think they know,” said the show’s curator Scott Rothkopf.
Koons rose to prominence in the mid-80s as part of a generation of artists who explored the meaning of art in a media-saturated era. He created a buzz with a series of nude photos of himself with porn star la Cicciolina who later became his wife. Throughout his career, Koons has tried and tested different styles to keep the spirit of pop alive.
“I think my vision within art is really to try to remove judgment, to remove criticism, to remove judgment, that people are open to and accepting. First of all to themselves and then once you learn to accept yourself, then you can go outward and you can accept others. And objects and images, they’re metaphors for this. They are metaphors for self-acceptance and the acceptance of others. And so just to accept things as they are, perfect in their own being for what they are as that being,” said Koons.
Featuring works dating back to the 1970s, the Jeff Koons retrospective is on at New York’s Whitney Museum of American art until October, before travelling to Paris’ Centre Pompidou and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.