The Kitsch or ART of Jeff Koons

By Astrid Lee, – copyright 2007

Jeff Koons is easily one of the most controversial artists in our time.

Everybody who has been on a tour in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art knows the 52-year-old American artist Jeff Koons as the brain behind the kitsch (?) porcelain statue of Michael Jackson and Bubbles (a monkey).

He is not even the maker of the sculpture – it was produced by an artisan according to his specs. The controversy of Koon’s artwork has helped him to become well-known.

But, his controversy is more than his PR ploy. When Jeff Koons was asked in an interview with the Journal of Contemporary Art “What is your main interest as an artist?” he replied “I’m interested in the morality of what it means to be an artist, with what art means to me, how it defines my life, etc.”

“And my next concern is my actions, the responsibility of my own actions in art with regard to other artists, and then to a wider range of the art audience, such as critics, museum people, collectors, etc.”

“Art to me is a humanitarian act, and I be-lieve that there is a responsibility that art should somehow be able to affect mankind, to make the word a better place (this is not a cliche!).”

Koons’ artwork consists of large-scale paintings, sculptures in stainless steel, aluminium, wood and porcelain, as well as ready-mades.

A thread in all of Jeff Koons’ works is the idea of transcendence. He states, “Art’s something that came into my life and gave me the acceptance of myself to be able to have transcendence appear within my life.”


  1. […] (or rather orders in) artwork that could be easily classified as kitsch. Should it? Check out ‘The Kitsch or Art of Jeff Koons?’ an article written by Astrid Lee, here at […]

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