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Article Title

Jeff Koons: In His Space

Faculty Mentor

Leda Cempellin, Scott Wallace

Abstract

Space, a major visual element, can be examined in depth in Jeff Koons’s artwork. Koons produces art in different series and each series contains numerous pieces. The appendages of the mechanical devices, a major element of space in the early series, accentuate the sexuality present in Koons’s art, as well as the surface quality and materials used in all the series. Koons’s obsession with perfection is what generates the flawless exteriors making the surface material void of human touch and elevating the sometimes kitsch subjects of the pieces. Koons uses stainless steel, a relatively inexpensive material associated with manufactured goods commonly used by everyone. This combination of commonly found material for the low-brow subject matter on one side, and the artist’s obsession with the surface’s perfection on the other side, represents a major challenge to traditional sculpture. Traditional sculpture commonly uses expensive materials, such as bronze or marble, to represent allegorical subject matter, mainly addressing the upper classes. Through this strategy, Koons elevates kitsch into high art. The series examined include: Pre New, The New, Equilibrium, Luxury, and Degradation, Statuary, Kiepenkerl, Banality, Made in Heaven, and Celebration.

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