Koons: To me, integrity means unaltered. When I’m working with an object I always have to give the great-est consideration not to alter the object physically or even psychologically. I try to reveal a certain as-pect of the object’s personality. To give you an example: if you place a shy person in a large crowd, his shyness will be revealed and enhanced. I work with the object in a very similar manner. I’m placing the object in a context or material that will enhance a specific personality trait within the object. The soul of the object must be maintained to have confidence in the arena.
Ottmann: How do you see the development of your work?
Koons: The early work is very important to my personal development, but I don’t feel that it has the same so-cial value as my work from the time of “The New.” I feel basically that the core of my work stays the same. I try to carry the best of my work with me through each body of work while enlarging its parameters.
Ottmann: What are the differences between your work and say someone like Richard Prince who rephotographs advertisement and media images?
Koons: Richard and I have been friends for many years. His work is more involved in the ap-propriation as-pect, the aspect of theft, while my work comes from the history of the ready-made, which for me is position of optimism. Whether I’m casting my Jim Beam de-canter or creating a painting from a liquor ad, I receive all the legal rights from everybody — a very optimistic situation.
Jeff Koons is an
with a diverse
body of work.
Koons is most
well known for
of o v e r s iz e d
in stainless steel
with mirror finish