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Jeff Koons: Art Changes Every Day

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Jeff Koons, Lobster, (detail), 2003. Installation view at Château de Versailles, France, 2008. Production still from the Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 5 episode, “Fantasy,” 2009. © Art21, Inc. 2009.

In a new previously unpublished interview with Jeff Koons, the artist speaks about his relationship with art, his exhibition at the Château de Versailles, and misrepresentations of his work. Interview conducted in 2009 at the artist’s New York City studio. An excerpt:

ART21: Talk about how your relationship with art has evolved over time?

KOONS: One of the amazing things about art is that it changes every day, and its meaning to you changes every day. When I was young, it was really a vehicle that gave me a sense of self. My sister was three years older—so I couldn’t do anything as well as she could. She could always do everything better. But when my parents saw me draw, they made me feel like I could finally do something at her level. From that point I had a feeling that I had a place, and it gave me a sense of being. I started off having no idea what the power of art could be. As I developed a sense of personal iconography I learned that you start to become comfortable with yourself, to accept yourself. Once that happens, you want to go external. You go from subjective to objective art, and art becomes a journey, which is really about sharing with people. When I was young I really didn’t have a base in art history. My first day in art school, we went to the Baltimore Museum and at that moment I realized how naïve I was. I didn’t know who Braque was. I didn’t know Manet. I knew nobody. I knew Dali, Warhol, and probably Rauschenberg, and Michelangelo, but I had no sense of art history. I survived that day and I think that’s one of the reasons I’m here now. I was hungry to learn. I wanted something to transform my life. And art has that ability to present everything in the world, all the disciplines of the world, and to unite them.

Continue reading “Jeff Koons: Art Changes Every Day” at Art21.org.


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