Untitled (Girl with Dolphin and Monkey)
This photograph is a surreal combination of pin-up girl, dolphin and monkey against a banal but colorful background. The artist was was commissioned to create this work by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City for its 75th Anniversary Photography Portfolio. This composition references the artist's characteristic themes of childhood, consumerism and sexuality. The photograph also includes one of Koons’s favorite motifs: inflatables that resemble children’s pool toys.
Koons began using inflatable figures in the late 1970s; they have since appeared in his paintings and photographs and as enlarged cast metal sculptures that are almost indistinguishable from the original objects. Koons’s fascination with blow-up toys stems from a Styrofoam swimming apparatus he had as a child. As the artist remarked, “it was like a life-saving tank . . . It gave me a great sense of independence. Pool toys are inflatable, just like people. Inflatables really are metaphors for the continuation of life.”
Jeff Koons, one the most recognized contemporary artists working today, creates work that both appropriates and reveres popular culture. The artist is best known for his oversized sculptures of toys, souvenirs, and ornaments. In addition to dramatically increasing their scale, Koons' use of sturdy materials recasts these exemplars of ephemera and kitsch into permanent features of our landscape.
Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. The artist received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.
Koons moved to New York City in the late 1970s where he initially made a living as a stockbroker. The artist gained international recognition and prominence with the creation of his signature sculptures Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988) and Puppy (1992), the latter of which has been installed in Sydney Harbour in Australia; Bilbao, Spain; and the Palace of Versailles in France.
Solo exhibitions of Koons' work have taken place at: the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy; the Museo Jumex in Mexico City, Mexico; the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, UK; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; among others.
Group exhibitions that have shown Koons' work have taken place at: the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California; and the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal; among others.
Koons’ works are held in numerous public collections, including at: the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois; MoMA in New York City; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; the Tate Modern in London, UK; and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam; among others.
Koons lives and works in New York City.
This photograph is a surreal combination of pin-up girl, dolphin and monkey against a banal but colorful background. The composition references the artist's characteristic themes of childhood, consumerism and sexuality, including one of his favorite motifs: inflatables that resemble children’s pool toys.More
- Edition 3 of 25