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Koons27 Mjacksonbubbles Koons_01 Koonsversaillesjpg Koonsversailles3 Koonsballooncu D22713df0f G_jeffkoons Koonsdonkey
'rak'rüm (noun);
the back room of an art gallery
where artists and art lovers hang
180px-jeff_koons_at_the_2009_tribeca_film_festival
BMW Art Car, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, BMW Art Car, 2010
© BMW
Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles,
1988
© Jeff Koons
Balloon Dog (Yellow), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Yellow), 1994-2000
(installation at Versailles, France), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, (installation at Versailles, France)

© Jeff Koons
(installation at Versailles, France), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, (installation at Versailles, France)

© Jeff Koons
(installation at Versailles, France), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, (installation at Versailles, France)

© Jeff Koons
Girl Woods (Dots), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Girl Woods (Dots),
2008, oil on canvas, 274,3 x 371,2 cm
© courtesy the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler
Hanging Heart Violet, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Hanging Heart Violet,
1994-2006, high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating and yellow brass, 5 unique versions (Red/Gold, Magenta/Gold, Silver/Blue, Violet/Gold, Gold/Red)
© © Jeff Koons 2008
Colored Donkey, 1999, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Colored Donkey, 1999,
Color Grano Lithograph on Paper, 36 x 28 inches, Edition of 99, Signed, Numbered and Dated "99" by Jeff Koons in Pencil lower right recto.
© Courtesy of Joseph K. Levene Fine Art, Ltd.
Red Balloon Dog Multiple With Original Publisher\'s Box, 1995, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons,
Red Balloon Dog Multiple With Original Publisher's Box, 1995,
Cast porcelain coated with a reflective finish, 10 1/4 X 10 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches, Edition 2300, Bears "Jeff Koons" Signature stamped in Red on the reverse.
© Courtesy of Joseph K. Levene Fine Art, Ltd.
Popeye, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Popeye,
2003 , Oil on canvas, 274.3 x 213.4 cm
© Jeff Koons
Puppy, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Puppy,
1997, dyed plush fabric and stuffing, 9" x 10" x 6.5"
© Lloyd Hryciw
Blue Balloon Dog Sculpture, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Blue Balloon Dog Sculpture,
2002, Cast porcelain coated with a reflective finish in the Original Publisher's Box
© Courtesy of Joseph K. Levene Fine Art, Ltd.
, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons
© Vourtesy of the artist and Galerie Jerome De Noirmont
Rabbit, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986
© Courtesy of the artist & National Gallery of Canada
Balloon Dog, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Balloon Dog,
2003, Cast porcelain coated with a reflective finish, 10 inches in height
Pink Panther, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Pink Panther, 1988
© Courtesy of the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
Two Ball 50/50 Tank (Spalding Dr. J Silver Series, Wilson Supershot), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons,
Two Ball 50/50 Tank (Spalding Dr. J Silver Series, Wilson Supershot),
1985, Glass and steel tank with 2 basketballs in distilled water, 62.75 x 36.75 x 13.25 inches
Two Ball 50/50 Tank (Spalding Dr. J Silver Series, Wilson Supershot, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons,
Two Ball 50/50 Tank (Spalding Dr. J Silver Series, Wilson Supershot,
1985, Glass and steel tank with 2 basketballs in distilled water, 62.75" x 36.75" x 13.25"
Rabbit , Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Rabbit ,
1986. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, partial gift of Stefan T. Edlis and H. Gael Neeson, 2000.21
© 1986 Jeff Koons. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Bracelet, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Bracelet, 1995-98
© Courtesy of the artist & Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Two Dr J Silver Series, Spalding NBA Tip-Off), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons,
Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Two Dr J Silver Series, Spalding NBA Tip-Off),
1985, Mixed media , 1536 x 1238 x 336 mm
© Courtesy of the artist & Tate Liverpool
Hulk (Friends), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Hulk (Friends),
2004-2012, polychromed bronze, 71.25 x 48.5 x 26 inches 181 x 123.2 x 66 cm
© Jeff Koons & Almine Rech Gallery Brussels
, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons
© Jeff Koons & Almine Rech Gallery Brussels
Coloring Book, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Coloring Book,
1997–2005 , High chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating , 222 x 131 1/4 x 9 inches (563.9 x 333.4 x 22.9 cm) Version 2/4
© Courtesy of the Artist and Gagosian Gallery - Beverly Hills
Skate Decks, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Skate Decks,
2006, Signed, http://www.hanguppictures.com/artists/portfolio/Jeff-Koons/43/skate-decks/163
Jeff K\'s bunny at Macys, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Jeff K's bunny at Macys
 One Ball Total Equilibrium, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, One Ball Total Equilibrium,
1985, Glass, steel, sodium chloride reagant, 64" x 31" x 13"
© Courtesy of the artist & The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, CT
Rabbit Necklace, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Rabbit Necklace,
2005-2009, platinum, 3 in pendant / 29 in chain
© Courtesy of the artist and Bass Museum of Art
 Antiquity 1 , Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Antiquity 1 ,
2009–12, Oil on canvas , 108 x 84 inches (274.3 x 213.4 cm)
© Courtesy of the artist & Gagosian Gallery
, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons
© Courtesy of the artist & David Zwirner
, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons
© Courtesy of the artist & David Zwirner
Balloon Dog (Red), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Red),
1995, Cast porcelain coated with a reflective finish, 10 inches high
Balloon Dog (Blue), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Blue),
2002, Cast porcelain coated with a reflective finish, 10 inches high
Elephant, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Elephant,
2003, High chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating
© Courtesy of the artist & The Multimedia Art Museum
Balloon Swan (Red) (detail), Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Balloon Swan (Red) (detail),
2004–11 , Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, 138 x 119 x 94 inches (350.5 x 302.3 x 238.8 cm) 1 of 5 unique versions
© Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian - Le Bourget
Bear and Policeman, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Bear and Policeman, 1988
© Jeff Koons
Tulips, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Tulips,
1995–98, Oil on canvas, 111 3⁄8 × 131 in. (282.9 × 332.7cm)
© Courtesy of the artist & The Whitney Museum of American Art
Stacked, Jeff KoonsJeff Koons, Stacked,
1988, polychrome wood, 61 x 53 x 31 inches (154.9 x 13.4 x 78.7 cm). Edition of 3 + 1 AP
© Courtesy of the artist & The Skarstedt Gallery
Jeff Koons is an American artist known for his giant reproductions of banal objects such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces, often brightly colored. Koons' work has sold for substantial sums including at least one world record auction price for a work by a living artist. Critics are sharply divided in their views of Koons. Some view his work as pioneering and of ma...[more]


RackRoom
Interview with Jeff Koons

Paris, June 2010 - The star of the show crouched low, sleek, surveying the crowd with feigned indifference. Cameras clicked and elbows shoved as the strains of Led Zeppelin’s Bring It Home filled the hall. The star twirled for the crowd, and almost purred.  Every curve and nuance was accented in bold, form-fitting vinyl, not a pucker or tuck to be seen.  Racing bands of red, yellow, black, blue pulled the eye from head to toe and back again...in the words of Jeff Koons "raw energy personified."  And the pièce de résistance? Why the tail end of course. Kapow! Pop! Zoom!

It was the Centre Pompidou in Paris, main hall, and about 300 people were assembled for the unveiling and signing of the 17th iteration of the BMW Art Car.  The American artist Jeff Koons, known for his monumental sculptures of everyday, sometimes banal objects such as balloon animals or blow-up pool toys, was the designer of this year's BMW Art Car.  The idea for the first art car was conceived of by Hervé Poulain, an auctioneer and racing driver from France, who asked Alexander Calder to paint a rolling canvas on the BMW 3.0 CSL that he drove in the 1975 Le Mans 24-hour race in France.  In the years following, BMW asked such luminaries as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, David Hockney, Sandro Chia, Robin Rhode and Jenny Holzer to design other BMW art cars, all of which are housed in the BMW car museum.  This year’s Art Car, just completed by Jeff Koons, will be driven by a team of drivers including triple FIA World Touring Car champion, Andy Priaulx, in the Le Mans 24-hour race this weekend, June 12-13, 2010.  When asked what he would tell the car, Koons replied: “Win!”

ArtSlant’s writer, Robert J. Hughes, sat down with Koons at the Pompidou Center after the unveiling of the car, to discuss the work and his process.  The following interview came from that conversation.



Robert J. Hughes: When you worked with the engineers, were there particular challenges for you, and did the process give you any ideas about your own work and fabrication?

Jeff Koons: We're working now in my studio a lot in 3D. Many of my large sculptures are never realized within the physical world. For the BMW project, I worked with the team in 2D and 3D, going back and forth in the computer, and I realized that certain programs just don't exist, and that we really were on our own out there. I began with 2D models and then went into 3D modeling, and in the process I realized that in the real world there was no program that we could use for the car. So we had the 3D information programmed to produce a 2D skin to be able to put on the car by readjusting the information constantly, laying out a grid on the car.  It really was a razzle-dazzle technique. If you look at the car from certain angles, lines will look curvy and wavy and wide, thick here and thin there, but if you get to the back end of the car and you're down to where the driver behind you is, then all of a sudden you see the shock waves, their rings, that are pure accurate circles going around, from the explosion, aftershocks. We adjusted for all of that.

RJH: Did you actually drive the car?

JK: Not this car. I was in one of the race cars that was the model which Warhol's art car was based upon, the type of race car that he had painted. I was on a track going about 135 miles an hour, only one car length in between other cars. It was nerve-wracking. It was exciting. They said I did really well. I was kind of proud of that. They thought that I had natural driving skills. Though I have to say that at the end of the day I was nauseous, because of the type of G forces that kind of driving produces. And also going through a training course of spinning around in circles and going 60 miles an hour and slamming on the brakes and missing a cone and doing this over and over again – they all take a toll on you.

RJH: Did being behind the wheel affect your conception of how you would give a sense of speed to the car?

JK: Absolutely. Originally I thought that I wanted to do something with lenticular [lenses]. Lenticular [lenses] are optical lenses that are embedded into very thin plastics. When viewed from different angles, the image on the plastics change; if it is seen from one angle, it goes black or goes red or yellow and changes color. Then from another angle, it all changes. This process turned out not to be very practical because it didn’t give the high contrast color saturation, and there would have been a lot of weight added to the car in producing this effect, which would have worked against us. And the timing was a problem: I can't just go from this image to this image and another image and another image; it would be a repeat, constantly, this image, that image, another image. Too much information. With all of that information you don’t' have any clarity. Everything that diffuses the energy was embedded in that, so I stopped that idea.

RJH: The car as a sculptural object when it's still has a sense of motion, with its blurring, almost, of lines of color.

JK: I wanted people to experience that. I wanted people, when they walked around it in a museum setting – because BMW does have this art-car kind of museum -- to feel that type of energy. Art is always about our internal life, and what's really important is what people feel about their own engine, their own mode, their own body, their own exhilaration, their own ability for endurance.

RJH: Did you get a sense of the car in motion? Did it have a test drive with your design so you could see how the design conveyed itself as a work of art that was a machine?

JK: This was done with actual models of the car, but not with the final car. Originally, BMW was still in Formula One, and I didn't know if I would be doing a Formula One or an M3 model. During the early stages I would take my ideas and make two-dimensional printouts. I'd put them on the models and then have them move by quickly to see if there was a blur. It really helped me forget lenticular [lenses] completely. I was working in 3D all the time; that really helped. When I say 3D, I'd take 2D and transfer that information into 3D and then view everything. I would spin it around. I had some perception of that [sense of speed], but I really looked at the history of how graphics have been applied to automobiles, basically in the racing industry, and realized that some of it is subconscious. I was looking for what was subconscious, how people automatically know certain energy parts or certain areas of the car that really reflect energy or display energy.

RJH: Do you think working on the car has inspired you in further work going forward?

JK: I'm now working on pieces that make references to antiquity, to Praxiteles, the great sculptor of antiquity, and to Apelles, the great painter of antiquity [both flourished in the 4th century BC]. I'm trying to let people know about narrative. Everyone is interested in narrative and the narrative that we can really trust the most is the biological narrative, the narrative of human history. I tried to capture that aspect in the car also, that millisecond of creation.

RJH: Like a Big Bang?

JK: Like a Big Bang, that's right. That energy, a real race, and we're all winners. We won the race. That type of energy.

RJH: Are you excited about seeing the car race?

JK: Absolutely. I know that this car is leaving here (the Centre Pompidou), and is going to race at Le Mans on June 12-13. It is going to have this independent life free of these other vocabularies, with other cars just among themselves, a dialogue. I feel that also with the other [Art Car] artists, that it will have a dialogue with the other artists who'd designed the cars.

ArtSlant would like to thank Jeff Koons for his assistance in making this interview possible.

-- Robert J. Hughes

(All Images: Courtesy of BMW and ArtSlant.com)

 

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