Modern Design with – Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, 59, was raised in Pennsylvania, and has lived and worked in New York City since the late 1970s. Koons emerged on the art scene in the 1980s, influenced by Pop and Conceptual Art. Pop Art at the start plucked ordinary objects from their familiar places in contemporary culture, presenting and framing them to create a new experience for the viewer. It was originally seen as a reaction to the rise of the gross commercialism of the mid 20th century, and this sentiment reenergized the movement in the 1970s and 80s. (Right about now you are vizulalizing a can of soup.)

The current retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art - through Oct 19 - will be the artist’s first major museum presentation in New York, and the first to fill nearly the entirety of the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building with a single artist’s work. The Whitney states: “Throughout his career, he has pioneered new approaches to the readymade, tested the boundaries between advanced art and mass culture, challenged the limits of industrial fabrication, and transformed the relationship of artists to the cult of celebrity and the global market.”

Koons’ style does reflect the spirit Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, and his idol, Salvador Dali - eliciting similar strong feelings. Though now embraced by much of the art establishment, many critics have labeled his work both mindless kitsch and pornography, but the public and many collectors praise Koons’ huge structures for their goofy joyfulness and vibrancy.

There is no arguing with the financial success of his fabrications. The fall of 2013 brought record auction prices; his Balloon Dog (Orange) sold at Christie's in New York for $58.4 million. The exhibition will also be the final one to take place there before the Museum opens its new building in the Meatpacking District in 2015.