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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Art Frieze London: Where Jeff Koons is a giant among mortals

Jeff Koons' show stopping giant Chocoalte sculpture,  "Sacred Heart" a powerful segway to the  Balloon Puppy which will be up for auction in November at Christies and is estimated to sell for over 50 million.

Inson Wood, Premier Interior Designer/ Architect picks Jeff Koons Disney-esque works as among his most powerful calling them "Irresistably genius. They are above Art - Jeff Koon's pieces are like our addiction to sugar. We can never stop loving them, because we have been consuming these visual icons since we were children - and like sugar, maybe even before we were born!" Jeff Koons often employs iconic cultural Americana and childhood objects for his art subjects.

There is a section at Art Frieze that focusses on masters such as this Matisse. 

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A fan with Jeff Koons, "Sacred Heart."

There is a reason that Jeff Koons is one of the top stars at Frieze Art Fair in London.   There is an unstoppable machine that exists beyond the genius of his work and his master gallerist promoter, Larry Gagosian, it is that of Hollywood and the wonderful world of Disney.  America is the land of the child and the promise of  a better world for our children - Walt Disney knew this and so does Jeff Koons.  He taps into our child hood pleasure systems of childhood toys, the magic of Easter, inflatables, summer vacations, flowers and puppies.  Disney tried to re-create his small town childhood - fantasy land - " hopes and dreams are all that matter."  Like Disneyland, the slightly more staid English art audience, I would do anything to come here.  The real world has been shaped by Disney - and Jeff Koons and Larry Gagosian know that.  That it not to say Jeff Koons work is not philosophical.  Disneyland is your land. - Ideals and the dreams that have created America - shaping our imagination.  Created an alternate Universe - a place for people to be happy. 100 million people go there each year.  Jeff Koons has created a theme park where ever is his art is exhibited, whether his take over of Versailles or a Gagosian show - we cannot resist feeling safe and happy. Like the perfect Valentines Day or a childhood Easter Egg Hunt - we are in Adventure Land and...its a small world after all.  Contradictions, as in Disney, are not allowed - the art itself is beautifully executed with ultra-vibrant colors.  The danger is eliminated and we feel ultimately safe.
Even his early edgy works consisting of his self-portrait images  with ex wife, Ciccolina,  were utterly fairly tale Cindarella characters with flowers and Pana -Vision. Our own world may be drudgery, but when we see a Jeff Koons sculpture, its like going to heaven.  Like your first bowl of Trix - depicted in many of his paintings and sculptures.  As adults we yearn to be children, safe without mortgages, and a basket of chocolate eggs.  Jeff Koons had a period where he pandered to the Wall Street crowd quite literally, basketballs in Fish Tanks, Scuba diver explorers, Jim Bean bottles.  Even the more philisophical Conceptual pieces - vacuum cleaners in plexi - speak to the clean perfectionists in all of us.
As with Walt Disney, we don't see the nasty side of America ( or the artworld for that matter ).  Its a perfect world that we cannot resist.  It does not always make us reflect deeply, as art is "meant" to do, but it does make us ask what art is. The fantasy world is addictive.  We all want to play with Hulk and find wonder in the clowns Balloon Puppy.  30% of Disney guests go without children.  Tension between commerce and art, seen and not seen. Magic tubes that remove the garbage  from garbage cans at Disney are no more mysterious than the crowds that fill the Met to see Jeff Koons sculpture and the auction prices that rise exponentially faster than festival balloon. Utterly impossible, and unsustainable - both were said about Jeff and Walt.  Jeff Koons is the ultimate Disney Imagineer - he somehow knows exactly what we want and above all, like with Walt, knows how to provide everyone and every story with a happy ending. - David Blum