Understanding Jeff Koons' classics, a Lady Gaga episode and two additions
King of kitsch
As Frieze London kicks off with Jeff Koons' show at the new Almine Rech gallery in Mayfair, we take a look at five of our favourite works, straight from the horse's mouth
1. Balloon Dog, 1994 - 2000
"It's very mythic. There's a sense of the interior to the piece, which is a bit like a Trojan piece. It's like a balloon from a birthday party, and because it's inflated, you imagine the birthday party was recent, not 20 years ago. A normal membrane of a balloon from 20 years ago would be completely deflated. At the same time, there's a mythic and ritualistic quality; you can imagine people going around Balloon Dog in a sort of dance. A tribalistic quality."
2. ARTPOP - Lady Gaga, 2013
"I wanted to have Gaga there as a sculpture, as a three-dimensional type of form and with the gazing ball, because the gazing ball really does become kind of the symbol for everything —and this aspect of reflection that when you come across something like a gazing ball, it affirms you, it affirms your existence and then from that affirmation, you start to want more. There's a transcendence that takes place and eventually it really leads you to everything. So that aspect's there."
3. Play-Doh, 1994 - 2014
"The inspiration really came from my son, Ludwig. I brought him some Play-Doh and he made a mount of Play-Doh and said, 'Dad, voila!', and he was so proud. I looked at it and I thought, this is what I really try to do as an artist. To make objects that you can't make any judgments about. That it's perfect. You just experience acceptance."
4. Seated Ballerina, 2010 - 2015
"Ballerina is like a Venus. You could be looking at a Venus of Willendorf or some of the oldest Venuses. It is really about beauty and even a sense of contemplation, a sense of ease."
5. Gazing Ball (Giotto The Kiss Of Judas) 2015 - 2016
"These paintings in their own time were some of the greatest masterpieces in western art history, but in this time, this moment, they're most powerful as they are in this state of gazing. I want to participate, I always just wanted to be involved in a dialogue with the avant garde. This is my family, these are the artists that I have interest in, the joy that has enriched my life."
Jeff Koons is showing at Almine Rech Gallery in London till 21 January 2017. For more details, click here.