The controversial artist returns to New York City this week to re-exhibit seven 20-year-old collage paintings and he talks about his heroes, his detractors and his love of Lil Uzi Vert
Listening to Jeff Koons talk about his art, one first notices his usage and re-usage of certain carefully selected stock phrases. Part art theoretical, part shamanistic, Koonspeak is the language of “expanding” your “parameters”, of “coming into being”, of “transcendence” and “transformation” and a kind of well-rehearsed humility. Sure, a Koons Balloon Dog fetches over $50m at auction, but most of all he just wants to “participate”. His art, he explains, aims to reveal to the viewer the “essence of their potential”. Koons feels connected to the avant garde, to an artistic lineage that includes Manet and Picabia and Duchamp and Courbet and Warhol, and to the idea that “you can transform your life, transform your being, and transform the community around you”.