CHEAT SHEET

We asked Michael Prokopow, PhD, a pro­fes­sor at OCAD Univer­sity in Toronto, to cri­tique the col­lec­tion. “Jeff Koons has long been in­ter­ested in the no­tion of ‘ready-made’ or

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an ob­ject that was not cre­ated as art but which, by virtue of the artist’s in­ter­ven­tion or ma­nip­u­la­tion, is el­e­vated to the sta­tus of art,” he says. “He is in­ter­ested in cri­tiquing no­tions of class hi­er­ar­chy and taste hi­er­ar­chy.”

LV: Nev­er­full KOONS: Gaz­ing Ball (Ti­tian’s Mars, Venus and Cupid), 2015 MAS­TER: Ti­tian, Mars, Venus and Cupid, circa 1546 NOTES: “In terms of the Old Masters, here Koons is ac­knowl­edg­ing that West­ern art has a his­tory and that there are ‘hits,’” says Prokopow. “He is show­ing the hits to us.”

LV: Palm Springs back­pack KOONS: Gaz­ing Ball (Rubens’s The Tiger Hunt), 2015 MAS­TER: Peter Paul Rubens, Tiger, Lion and Leop­ard Hunt, 1616

NOTES: “Koons’s Gaz­ing Ball se­ries served sev­eral pur­poses,” says Prokopow. “He was pay­ing homage to sig­nif­i­cant works of art in the West­ern canon. These are works he ad­mires and sees as his ‘cul­tural DNA.’” LV: Chain bag KOONS: Gaz­ing Ball (da Vinci’s Mona Lisa), 2015 MAS­TER: Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, circa 1503-1519 NOTES: “By amal­ga­mat­ing fa­mous names and images, Koons is ad­dress­ing celebrity and wealth and rais­ing the ques­tion of hi­er­ar­chies of sig­nif­i­cance,” ex­plains Prokopow. “Are the purses ‘Koons for LV’ or has he made them ‘LV for Koons’?”

LV: Speedy KOONS: Gaz­ing Ball (Young Girl Play­ing with Her Dog, Frag­o­nard), 2014-2015 MAS­TER: Jean-Honoré Frag­o­nard, Young Girl Play­ing

with her Dog, circa 1770-1775 NOTES: “Some peo­ple rec­og­nize the Mona Lisa, but not all rec­og­nize the Frag­o­nard,” notes Prokopow. “By adding the names, Koons is both par­tic­i­pat­ing in—af­firm­ing—and cri­tiquing the cult of the brand.”

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