jeff koons

Artist provo­ca­teur

Wallpaper - - October - CS

As one of the world’s most suc­cess­ful – not to men­tion con­tro­ver­sial – artists, Jeff Koons was a per­fect choice to be our first-ever Guest Ed­i­tor in 2007, along with Di­eter Rams and Hedi Sli­mane. Throw­ing him­self into the project with char­ac­ter­is­tic en­thu­si­asm, Koons pro­duced an eye-pop­ping homage to child­hood he­roes Led Zep­pelin. ‘As a teenager, I was in­ter­ested in art, but I didn’t know what art was,’ he told us. ‘I did know that the clos­est I got to this sense of tran­scen­dence that art can bring into your life was Zep­pelin’s mu­sic.’ Sadly, noth­ing came of Koons’ plans to de­sign the cover art for a Jimmy Page solo al­bum, but the artist has hardly been short of of­fers since 2007. In 2010 he un­veiled a mul­ti­coloured M3 GT2 for BMW, fol­lowed in 2013 by a daz­zle-painted yacht for in­dus­tri­al­ist Dakis Joan­nou. That same year his Bal­loon Dog (Orange) sold for $58.4m, still the high­est price ever paid for a liv­ing artist’s work.

Koons shows no sign of re­treat­ing from the lime­light. His re­cent hand­bags for Louis Vuit­ton sport images from Rubens, Ti­tian and Frag­o­nard, and though they are not ex­actly tak­ing art to the masses, they have ar­guably raised his pro­file higher than ever.

‘My un­der­stand­ing of tran­scen­dence and how art func­tions comes from Zep­pelin’

Blows up big in New York

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