Tuesday, 23 September 2014

this collage could not possibly be as ugly as the soul of jeff koons

When this week's theme was announced, two words immediately leapt into my mind: "Jeff Koons." Right after that, I knew what the title of my collage had to be. For a long time I have been infuriated by Koons's willful ugllness—not just in his art, but in his whole life, for he himself says they are one and the same. The huge show devoted to him at the Whitney, with both the laudatory and the vituperative things people are saying, has made me quite miserable. It's not my usual style to be so deeply annoyed by someone I have never met—not at all. Well...except maybe Dick Cheney.

Everything in this collage is either from a photograph of Koons's art, from something said in the press about him, or from one of his many advertisements in the media for himself. (One of his ads is the source of the "Exploit the Masses" and "Banality as Saviour" phrases, written on a blackboard in front of little kids.) To be fair to Koons, as much as I can be, I included a photo of his play-doh sculpture, complete with plinth and favorable press remark, without cutting it up in any way.

I'll be curious to hear whether y'all think Koons's work is ugly, or whether Koons is ugly on the inside. I already know my collage is hideous! =laugh=


  1. You sure put a lot of thought and effort into this one Fi. I have never thought of Koons' artwork as ugly but you sure made a piece using elements of his!

  2. I'm not familiair with Jeff Koons 'inside', but I always thought his work was a statement against banality like his 'Ushering in Banality' (1988).... I kind of liked that.
    I do think there is a lot of banality in the art market and business (all the money going round).
    And I like the way you made this collage with all the text you included.

  3. Thanks, Angie and Jo! My collage studio looks like a Jeff Koons tornado hit it, little bits of his ugly creations in scattered piles all over my table, but I think on the whole, the experience was cathartic.

  4. While Cheney gets my top vote, I share your dislike for Koons, Fi...he can doubtless tell a good story about what his art is "intended" to do, but I suspect that deep down inside he is really just thinking to himself, "Well, let's see...what stupid thing can I call art and make a lot of money from?" I reluctantly observe, however, that if the goal of art is to provoke, he is doing an excellent job of it. Your collage isn't hideous, it's a STATEMENT!

  5. Thanks, Lynn! I like what you said a lot, and it makes me feel like my ugly collage may have a positive result of some kind—however small.