Thursday, November 27, 2008
JEFF KOONS : CATERPILLAR CHAINS and CHEEKY
Jeff Koons was born in York Pennsylvania in 1955 and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute of College Art. Koons has long been known as a good self-promoter who relies on shiny, kitschy images to gain public attention.
The chateau de Versailles (France) near Paris recently held a Koons exhibit that costed 1.9 million Euros, 800,000 of which went solely to the Split Rocker which is in the gardens and is a reference to Le Nôtre.
After less glamorous year in the 80s, today Jeff Koons' work records terrific sales. This is an interesting fact considering the world's economy is in a recession. At the May 14 Sotheby's sale Koons' work entitled Caterpillar Chains (seen above) from 2003 was purchased for $5,921,000.
It is not my goal in this blog to make or undo an artist but as an art amateur who loves beauty, colors and forms I can only say that I find this Caterpillar extremely ugly and that only a rich fool can accept to pay 6 million bucks for this "chenille en plastique".
Furthermore the problem with Jeff Koons's works in my humble opinion is that they arouse no emotion at all. Sure they are for most of them beautiful and aesthetically flawless but where is the emotion of the Impressionists, where is the humble feeling of the Old Masters, where is the revolt of the Modern Art, where is the mysticism of the abstract art ? There is nothing, just an artistic void that does not justify the million fetched by his works.
Is Koons's art a scam ? Difficult to put it right away in this category as his
paintings can be very good. This "Cheeky" at the Left is worth of Salvador Dali if only for its sexual connotation and ironical message. It was made in 2000 and it is confronting the viewer with collaged, disconnected images and high-key colors that are executed with photorealistic perfection. The ambiguity of the title Cheeky is what makes Koons' works so appealing to the viewer – is it sexual or childish, is it easy fun or is it ethereal?
The whole works of Koons enter in this dilemna and it is certainly the reason why it is fascinating so many people and fetche their astronomical prices. At the 11th of November 2008 evening sale at Sotheby's "Cheely' was bought for $4 million (buyer premium included), the low estimate but still a very high price. It is an oil on canvas and measures 108 x 79 1/2 in. ( 274.3 x 201.9 cm.).