November 10, 2009
Few artists in history have been as polarizing as Jeff Koons. He’s managed to be an artist critics love to hate while simultaneously creating works of art that sell for record prices. Some critics hail his work as being revolutionary, while others pass it off kitsch. Regardless of your opinion of him, there’s no denying that he has made a major impact on the art world.
Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania on January 21, 1955. His father was an interior designer. His father was very important to him ending up being an artist. His mother didn’t work, but Koons states that she influenced his politics, due to the fact that her father was involved in politics. He took art lessons as a child and was skilled in the basic fundamentals of drawing and painting. As a child, he went door to door selling items he bought from mail-order catalogs. He used the money he made to buy art supplies and racetrack parts and pieces. As a teenager, he was very interested in Salvador Dali; so much that he visited him once when he was staying in the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Koons studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art. After college, he worked on Wall Street as a commodities broker to fund his art, “Making my vacuum-cleaner pieces cost about $3,00 each, and in the 1980s it was the only way I could make enough money.”(Sylvester 344) From then on, he made more than enough money through his art to support himself, and focused solely on art.
Koons took his first art lessons when he was about seven years old, “My first teacher was about eighty years old, and she was a wonderful woman. I’d go to her basement and we would draw vases of flowers, in charcoal and pastel.”(Sylvester 343) He learned a lot from his father about “…how colour and different objects and things coming together could affect your emotions.”(Sylvester...