Sally Porter's Web Log
Jeff Koons: More Than Puppies by Sally Porter Meta Expressionist 
Thursday, August 2, 2012, 11:49 AM - General
Jeff Koons: More Than Puppies by Sally Porter Meta Expressionist

At first glance, Jeff Koons seems an unlikely artist to gain the praise of a meta expressionist. His paintings are executed by assistants, factory style. He resembles a corporate head, not the voice of a lone artist. He is unabashedly all about consumerism; however, his genius lies in the ability to embrace common cultural icons and convert them into pieces which strike in the heart of emotion. He enables us to revel in our feelings by transforming images of mass appeal into personal experience.

Like the classic song from Sound of Music, Koons is able to show us some of our Favorite Things without sap or syrup. He has re-invented the tulips, Easter eggs, diamonds, hearts and balloon puppies as high art because of his emotional connection. In choosing to exploit these emotionally charged objects, he has revealed his own child like love of color, form and grand scale with the skill of a visual virtuoso. The images have been re-packaged with amazing sophistication. Viewing the glitz of the smooth, shiny surfaces and over the top colors are the emotional equivalent to a trip down the Vegas strip.

His genius is not without limitations. While the sculptures mesmerize, entertain and inspire with their monumental scale, happy colors to die for, and playful appreciation of love and beauty (puppies and diamonds), most of his paintings fall flat and sorely miss the hand of the artist himself. His appropriations of advertisement and cartoons onto canvas mostly come across as rote and uninspired, lacking the singular focus of image and emotional punch of the sculpture. The paintings with jumbled images fizzle out while one peruses the disconnected images.

While Koons' approach to art is slick and smart, he does understand the spiritual component. In a recent televised appearance, he stated that the viewer helps create the art. If a piece of art is placed in a forest, and no one sees it, it is not a piece of art. While Koons may be coldly calculating in managing his artistic career, he understands what art is. It's all about the viewer, baby, not just puppies.

Sally Porter Meta Expressionist
Sally Porter Gallery ... ll/all/all

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