York County native Jeff Koons’ work raises question: But is it art? Part II
Former York countian and now world-famous artist Jeff Koons created this artwork. Anne Lampe, director of the Demuth Museum in Lancaster, might have broken the code with her explanation: ‘The Hoovers are such a social commentary piece. Here are these machines that were made to supposedly alleviate a housewife’s chores, but have we really liberated women?’ Background posts: Proposed ‘Creation of a Nation’ museum name glib, but lacks grounding, York County native Jeff Koons’ work raises question: But is it art? Part I, Artist Jeff Koons came back to York for a show and Jeff Koons’ sculpture brings record for a living artist’s work
The display of artist Jeff Koons’ work at Versailles, France, has again raised sentiments in his boyhood home of York County about why his art is such a big deal.
One detects dismay and sometimes anger that he gets recognition for work that seemingly anyone can do… .
Jeff Koons’ ‘Chainlink Fence,’ is among his artwork on display at Versailles in France.
Experts say Koons’ work is, indeed, art and the outrage is part of what makes it so popular, as York Daily Record/Sunday News reporter Jennifer Vogelsong reports:
Are vacuum cleaners in a case art? What about a piece of chain-link fence with what look like inflatable pool toys attached?
It depends whom you ask.
York County native Jeff Koons has two such pieces on display as part of a solo installation exhibit at the Palace of Versailles in France through mid-December.
Anne Lampe, director of the Demuth Museum in Lancaster, said even though Koons is among the top five living artists in terms of what people will pay for his work, exhibiting at Versailles is still an achievement.
“To my knowledge, there has never been an exhibit like this in the private apartments,” she said. “To get that opportunity, that must have taken a lot of jumping through hoops.”
The contrast between Koons’ gilded-porcelain sculpture of Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee Bubbles, and a marble statue of Louis XIV has people talking.
“The French, of course, are upset,” Lampe said. “They are very proud of their history, so having an American’s work in there has upset them.”
Even more so that Koons was the particular American they allowed to redecorate.
Lampe, however, said he thinks it’s a brilliant match.
“I think it’s a great juxtaposition,” she said. “(Koons) calls into question the excesses of our age, so it’s really prescient and ironic that his works — which are so over the top — are placed in the king’s private apartments that show the excesses of that age.”
In York County, some tend to be confused, if not outraged, at the status given Koons and his work.
Experts say that’s exactly what makes Koons so popular.
“Part of what he has always been about is creating a sensation with his work, outraging people and making them think,” Lampe said. “That’s how he gets people to engage with him.”
Name: Jeff Koons
Residence: New York City
Born: York County
Family: wife Justine; daughter Shannon Rodgers, 31 (from his college girlfriend); sons Ludwig, 16 (from his first marriage to Italian porn star and politician Ilona Staller); Sean, 6; Kurt, 4; Blake, 3
Occupation: Contemporary artist, owner of Jeff Koons Studio
Education: Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Maryland Institute College of Art; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Dover Area High School
Last time exhibited in York County: Fall 2002, “Jeff Koons: Embrace Your Past” at York College
His most expensive piece: “Hanging Heart” sold for $23.6 million at auction in November. At the time, it set a record for the most paid for a work by a living artist.
Esquire Magazine has named Jeff Koons as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century.
Koons is number 33 in the magazine’s September issue because, the magazine states, “he’s the most important and popular artist in the world.”
Koons comes after John Mackey, chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market, and precedes Meghan O’Sullivan, a former national-security operative, on the list.
Russian oilman Roman Abramovich is number one on the magazine’s list.
The following Jeff Koons works are on display at the Palace of Versailles through Dec. 14:
— Balloon Dog (Blue), 1994-2000
— Balloon Flower (Yellow), 1995-1999
— Bear and Policeman, 1988
— Chainlink, 2003
— Hanging Heart (Red), 1994–2006
— Jim Beam — J.B. Turner Train, 1986
— Large Vase of Flowers, 1991
— Louis XIV, 1986
— Lobster, 2003
— Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988
— New Hoover Convertibles Green, Green, Red, New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polishers, New Shelton Wet/Dry 5-Gallon, Displaced Tripledecker, 1981-1987
— Moon (Light Blue), 1995-2000
— Pink Panther, 1988
— Rabbit, 1986
— Self Portrait, 1991
— Split-Rocker, 2000
— Ushering in Banality, 1988
Other York Town Square posts involving national newsmakers or news stories with Dover ties: Jeff Koons, Ray Krone, Daniel Drawbaugh, Jeb Stuart, John Kuhn , Scott Strausbaugh and the intelligent design case.
Also: John “Clarkie” Souza, Cate Reinart (mother of Nick and Drew Lachey), long trumpeter Bill School, rock group Blind Melon’s Chris Thorn, Jeff Koons, Part II, Gov. George Leader, weightlifting guru Bob Hoffman.