EXCLUSIVE: From his studio in New York City, Jeff Koons discusses his 2008 exhibition at the Château de Versailles in France. Koons explores the power and sensuality of the grounds at Versailles, citing Louis Quatorze (Louis XIV) as an inspriation for his 1992 piece, Puppy, a large floral sculpture made out of 60,000 large flowers.
Jeff Koons plucks images and objects from popular culture, framing questions about taste and pleasure. His contextual sleight-of-hand, which transforms banal items into sumptuous icons, takes on a psychological dimension through dramatic shifts in scale, spectacularly engineered surfaces, and subliminal allegories of animals, humans, and anthropomorphized objects. The subject of art history is a constant undercurrent, whether Koons elevates kitsch to the level of Classical art, produces photos in the manner of Baroque paintings, or develops public works that borrow techniques and elements of seventeenth-century French garden design. Organizing his own studio production in a manner that rivals a Renaissance workshop, Koons makes computer-assisted, handcrafted works that communicate through their meticulous attention to detail.
Jeff Koons is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Fantasy of the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch the full episode online in the PBS Video portal (available for a limited time, through November 13, 2009).