I've always been very interested in contemporary and I remember at the primary school I challenged the teachers always wanting to know a lot about the historical period that I was living. In the period when I was a student in the late '80s and early' 90s, a period without the speed and freedom of information to which we have become accustomed by internet, I remember that the only two contemporary artists about which I could find information in the small town where I was living in southern Italy were Jeff Koons and Michelangelo Pistoletto. With their artistic practice I conserve a special link that is like the link with a relative.
As I told in different articles Jeff Koons is the artist best representing our time and culture. However he has been also a revolutionary being a point of reference for many different artists of the last 20/30 years. This is also true because in a highly individualized society such as the contemporary one the revolutions are no longer the leitmotif of a group or a movement but of an individual. Jeff Koons' history is very emblematic not only as an embodiment of the American dream but also as a new approach to the art world capable of reconciling culture and economy (two elements dissociated and opposed with the arrival of Modernity), to reconcile popular culture and art, to approach and engage the public with a pop minimalist style really original with reference to the ready-made tradition. An approach that does not separate but put in contact, that does not confuse but seduce, that mixes our weaknesses and the kitsch that surrounds us with a subtle and indirect social analysis. Jeff Koons is the first artist in history to manage his production in a managerial and autonomous way revolutionizing the art system, its rules and institutions and achieving success with only the secondary and marginal help of traders and dealers. With Koons it begins a new era of contemporary art where the artist is not a tool but a subject capable of imposing its ideas and thoughts with or without the help of dealers, collectors and curators. Koons is not an accomplice in the international art system as some mistakenly think but he is really the embodiment of freedom because he is able to control and manipulate it with his ideas and values. This is the key to freedom and the autonomy of art. This is the key with which Koons revolutionized the field of international art.
Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988
Porcelain; 42 x 70 1⁄2 x 32 1⁄2 in. (106.7 x 179.1 x 82.6 cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons
Oil on canvas, 108 x 79 1⁄4 in. (274.3 x 200.7 cm). Bill Bell Collection. © Jeff Koons
Balloon Dog (Magenta), 1994 - 2000
Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, 121 x 143 x 45 inches, 307.3 x 363.2 x 114.3 cm © Jeff Koons
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