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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.

Yves Klein is a French plastic artist born in Nice on April 28, 1928 and died in Paris on July 6, 1962. Coming from a family of artists, he did not however intend to work as an artist and studied to become an officer of the merchant navy. From 1948 to 1952, he made many trips to Europe but especially to Japan where he developed a passion for judo and obtained the rank of 4th dan black belt. In 1955, he even created his own judo school which closed a year later due to financial difficulties. Self-taught artist, he began to paint monochromes at the end of the 1940s.

In 1956, he created International Klein Blue (IKB), the famous “Klein blue”, a shade representing according to him the most perfect expression of blue. That same year, his reputation began to grow thanks to the “Yves, Propositions monochromes” exhibition in Paris. Then he presented “Proposte monochrome, epoca blu” in Milan, an exhibition made up of eleven identical blue paintings.

Become globally recognized, he is considered as one of the fathers of New Realism with Arman and Pierre Restany. He subsequently experimented with several techniques, in particular that of “living brushes” where models covered in paint were applied directly to the canvas to create the work during a public performance. At the beginning of 1961, he also began a series of fire paintings with the wish to print traces of fire on different supports. His works are often ephemeral: a release of Klein blue balloons, a gallery painted entirely in blue… His material works are only the surface of his approach, they highlight the invisible, the nothing.

He introduced two new colors in addition to blue in his work: pink and gold. The union of its three colors to a work would ensure the link between the flesh and the spirit. This iconography close to religion is dedicated to allowing everyone to explore a beyond.

Despite a very short career, he is today considered one of the greatest representatives of French and international contemporary art. Not hesitating to stage himself in his art, Yves Klein himself participates in the construction of his myth as evidenced by his collaboration with many photographers and directors. In addition, in addition to an exceptional work, it also leaves behind a good number of clairvoyant writings.

Yves Klein Collection