“The most interesting thing that Jeff did was to make every day American-style happiness.” Artist David Salle is describing Jeff Koon’s accomplishments in a new film about the artist produced by MoCA in honour of an event last month that celebrated Koons’ four-decade-long career. Best of all, it’s narrated by Scarlett Johansson.
From porcelain to stainless steel, crystal, and flowers, Koons has worked with most materials that he’s been able to get his hands on – creating gaudy, ironic, gilded, unsettling, sexy, shiny works of art that are as equally loved as they are hated.
Famous for his brightly coloured and oversized stainless steel balloon animal sculptures and other pieces such as a porcelain Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture, the film is a seven-minute rundown on Koons’ oeuvre and taps into his early life. A couple of fun facts: he sold tickets at MoMA for pocket-money as a fledgling artist and he still listens to at least an hour of Led Zeppelin a day.
Famous faces such as Larry Gagosian, and even Pharell, drop by to cash in their two cents. “I knew it was art but it was art that I couldn’t really process”, says Gagosian, “It had an impact on me.”
With allegedly over 100 assistants working for him, a couple of recent lawsuits and a refusal to reveal any deeper meaning within his works, Koons is an enigma. Whether he’s dismissed or celebrated, there’s no denying that he’s impactful. Watch the film above, if not for Koons then for Scarlett.