It has been said that Jeff Koons is one of the reasons people despise modern art; due in part to the use of pop culture and shock in his work, as well as the accusation of plagiarism. But Koons is more than a modern art villain, he is an American superstar who has influenced Damien Hirst and a whole host of other artists.
Koons has created ‘Born from Porn’ a collection of images containing him and his wife at the time ‘caught in the act’ on canvas and produced balloon sculptures fabricated from steel. Despite the arguably simple subject matter, his works span complex themes from American culture, consumerism and social mobility.
The exhibition is Hirst’s homage to Koons, who inspired much of his life’s work and importantly, shows possibly the most extensive works shown in the UK to date.
The exhibition pulls from work throughout Koons’ career, almost a retrospective but an unofficial one. It consists of 36 pieces including both sculptures and paintings beginning with works from Koons’ earlier years such as the inflatable flower piece from 1979, the famous fluorescent lit vacuum cleaners and floating basketballs. As inflatables have featured throughout Koons’ career it is fitting that there are a number on display.
Koons is known for having an incredible eye for detail, something that could have developed with his time working as a Wall Street broker. His works are powerful and emotional but embrace it, don’t ignore it otherwise you’ll be missing out on a superb collection of works from one of the most important artists today.