Art; Jeff Koons’ Philosophy of Perfection

Visit the blockbuster artist at his voluminous studio ahead of a Whitney retrospective

“Much of his work focuses around the idea of sensuality and being alive,” explains filmmaker Matt Black of the master of the grand pop gesture, Jeff Koons. “It’s not a cold world he creates.” The director turned his lens on America’s most successful living artist for his interview series Reflections, ahead of Koons’ major retrospective at New York’s Whitney Museum, opening later this month. “He’s interested in creating a dialogue in art,” says Black, whose other head to heads include Larry Clark, Robert Longo and Damien Hirst. “Jeff Koons wants a dialogue with the audience, the public and to open the realm of how you experience art.” The upcoming show is a comprehensive look the artist’s provocative early work with inflatables—shortly after moving to New York in the late 1970s—through to his latest offerings that draw upon his extensive knowledge of art history. As a cultural phenomenon, Koons’ Celebration

series of sculptures (including the highly publicized balloon dogs) as with so much of his oeuvre plays on the idea of perfection. He creates a super-polished and hyper-real version of the mundane. “As we had access to the painting studio, what fascinated me was the level of detail that goes into the work,” says Black. “One painting takes 10 to 12 months to finish and they have one entire room within the studio just to create color.”

 

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