The big news in London is the opening of the Jeff Koons show at the Serpentine. Richard Prince’s show last year caused a stir when it came out that many of the works on view were sold. The British papers mostly focus on Koons’s own commentary from a press preview where the artist gives some palaver about ‘art as spinach’ and Popeye representing the artist’s father. Carol Vogel gives the rare extra bit of information that actually helps illuminated Koons as a serious artist:
The show — organized by Julia Peyton-Jones, director of the Serpentine; Hans Ulrich Obrist, its co-director; and Kathryn Rattee, a curator there — is on view through Sept. 13 and includes 23 works. The paintings are monumental, some more than 8 feet tall and 7 feet wide, and the sculptures of inflatable toys incorporate other familiar things: an aluminum ladder, stainless-steel pots and pans, wooden logs, even trash cans.
Although the works were conceived seven or eight years ago, some were fabricated only this year. “They take time to make,” Mr. Koons said.
He first started buying the inflatable toys when he was visiting his mother in Florida. “That’s where I got the lobster and the caterpillars,” Mr. Koons said. “Then I went online and found the hippopotamus, the turtles and the monkeys.”
He typically buys 100 to 200 of each toy because although they are machine-made, each has slight variations. “I look for form, graphics and color,” he said, pointing to the tiny details on a nearby turtle.
The emphasis on craft in replicating ephemera may be the most meaningful aspect of Koons’s art.
Inside Art: Koons and A Sailor Man in London (New York Times)