Here are two different interviews with Jeff Koons. The video comes from The Art Newspaper and then Anthony Haden-Guest talks to the artist about his troubles:
Jeff Koons also talks to The Daily Beast‘s Anthony Haden-Guest:
Your auction results have had so much publicity, even in arts coverage, that many assume you’ve had a kind of golden career. But in fact, you came close to bankruptcy. You went through at least ten pretty lean years.
Financially, yes. But I had success with the collector base. It wasn’t that people weren’t engaged with my art and didn’t want to acquire my work. But I went through a custody situation. And the lawyers really kind of emptied everything out of my pocket.
And then I also got involved with the production of a large body of work, the Celebration work, that cost a huge amount to make. And we actually sold some of the work at a loss. So that kind of complicated things. But it was never a lack of audience for my work. There was tremendous support for Celebration. But I had to liquidate the holdings that I had prior to my divorce and custody. I did have a lot of loss so I had to rebuild my life. […]
I was startled to learn that you had destroyed a lot of the work you had made with llona [Ilona Staller a.k.a. La Ciccolina] after your divorce.
I was trying to win custody of my son. And she was attacking my work. She kept saying that this was just pornography and I had no other interests. There were many works in Made In Heaven that I enjoyed very, very much. I think Ilona’s Arsehole and Manet are two of my favorite paintings. But I did destroy a lot of them. Not because I didn’t believe in them, but I was trying to simplify the situation involving custody. A lot have survived. But I destroyed the artists’ proofs of a lot of the works. […]
Damien Hirst told me that the important thing about the money he makes is that people who weren’t necessarily interested in art take him seriously. What do you feel?
I think it’s wonderful, the opportunities that it presents for your art. It’s like a platform. And it’s also some form of protection. It’s very hard for things to survive in this world. There’s a lot of wear and tear. And even with the type of dollars that are involved with art today it’s shocking how little care is given to a lot of these objects. And it’s flattering that society is finding some of the issues of interest. At the end of the day it comes down to idea. And if you are making things that that have value because of the strength of the idea, that’s great.
Jeff Koons’ Destructive Impulses (The Daily Beast)