Undisputed master of the art market, Jeff Koons is neither more nor less than the most expensive living artist in the world. Born in 1955 in York in the United States, he is famous for his giant sculptures, his paintings, as well as his talent for provocation.
He studied at the Fine Arts of Baltimore in Chicago, but it is in finance that he will begin his career as a broker on Wall Street in commodities. Jeff Koons will succeed in combining his talents on the stock market and his passion for art by becoming himself the best investment of the 20th century.
Jeff Koons will be particularly marked by the advertising iconography and American pop art of the 1980s. Consumer objects and everyday utensils will gain in added value in his hands. He will take up the principle of Marcel Duchamp's “ready-made” and raise them to the status of a work of art, starting with vacuum cleaners or basketballs.
Particularly fond of kitsch, Jeff Koons will excessively exploit this vein and conquer collectors around the world. He uses the icons of popular culture labeled USA to add them to this aesthetic. Michael Jackson then freezes in a white and gold porcelain, Popeye rutile like a stainless steel balloon and the Hulk inflates with air in anger.
Jeff Koons' fame and work both took a turn in 1991, when the artist married pornographic actress Ilona Anna Staller, also known as Cicciolina. Together, they produced the sulphurous work “Made In Heaven”, where the couple takes the stage and plays on eroticism and more so ambiguity. It is an absolute media success which makes it possible to increase the reputation and the coast of Jeff Koons.
His works are now made by artisans in a workshop in Chelsea, near New York, under his direction, a process which in turn makes the artist talk. In addition to being the favorite of billionaires, Jeff Koons is also exhibited around the world. We will especially remember his royal entry to the Palace of Versailles in 2008 accompanied by his Balloon Dogs and his Inflatable Rabbit, not to mention his retrospective at the Center Pompidou in 2014.
His work Balloon Dog, in orange (there are several different colors, including magenta and blue) was auctioned in 2013 by the Christie's agency in New York and was sold for the sum of 58.4 million dollars. . This historic sale made this sculpture the most expensive work by a living artist.