Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… Jeff Koons is a world wide well known artist. In most popular modern art musea they have work of Jeff Koons in their collection. He is what we call a well established artist and recently an object was sold for 21 million dollars at an auction. In 1989 he started off with a pornographic serie titled: 'Made in Heaven'.
Koons has a studio with young artists working for him, there he designs and produces his Art. He is like a designer blowing up reality and putting it right in your face. He is a modern days pop art artist as was for example Claes Oldenburg , who enlarged everyday objects into huge sculptures. I used one of his works in a post about clothespins, you can find here. Work where the mind plays tricks with the changing of perspective of either large and small 'Gulliver's Travels', Alice in Wonderland. It also changes the perspective of ourselves feeling narcissistically large or vulnerably small.
How we look at the world is influenced by how we have been raised. And that is also on how we view ourselves and how we want to break with it or not. Jeff Koons challenges our perspective within his perception of the beauty of banality. Because his art is truly a luxurious, precisely made, out of the box version of kitsch and inflatables.
Made in Heaven
The exhibitionistic exhibition 'Made in Heaven' started in a gallery in Antwerp, Belgium. But it was set off by a billboard Koons was commissioned to make for the Whitney Museum of American Art in NewYork. Koons actively sought contact with pornstar/politician Ilona Staller (Cicciolina) and used this as an inspiration to make huge billboards about his idea about media. The billboards and art of other artists were used in the 'Image World' exhibition in 1989. The intention of the exhibition was to show how we are surrounded by imagery 24 hours, we can see and watch almost everything, almost everywhere at any time.
If we look at it now more than 25 years after, we can indeed immediately open any imagery, everywhere at any time. We can research on how to do some knit work, repairing an engine or cooking a meal, which is great. On the other hand we can also view how to make a bomb, to the variety of kama sutra sex positions, to actually seeing someone killed and porn is all over the place and we have to protect our children from early exposure to these images.
Koons, in his own words, chose to do "Made in Heaven' as a self reflective serie of art. Why self reflective and why should I even be confronted with it? Koons was already a star artist with a big studio when he found pornstar and politician Ilona Staller to work with him. This resulted in a marriage in 1991 In the short period the two of them were married 'Made in Heaven' came to full bloom.
The period, although it ended sadly, was I think a sexual exploration within accepting his own sexuality. She has no shame about her body and why should she? Koons made the whole series with her: truly pornographic art. What I found intriguing and that was mostly with the statues that I could walk around it, watch every detail. But by walking around it I also became part of the intimacy, I have become the camera(wo)man that tapes the scene. But do I experience intimacy? In a museum things aren't private, so people put up their best behavior. We might put on a brave face, or a giggly face, an austere face, but I bet none would have shown an obvious aroused face. I wonder?
Art is in the Eye of the Beholder
Shame and sexuality are unfortunately often close friends. But here Jeff Koons went past his own shame and actually visiting the exhibition the visitor could hide behind a veil of looking at art and in a sense they could shamelessly look at porn. It was properly institutionalized. When I take the context away the art changes again in porn. However a lot of art was made to arouse, tittellate.
For a lot of people within the BDSM world entering into the lifestyle is letting go of many of the perceptions we have on 'self'. We have to research, contemplate and let go of perceptions, ideologies and ideas we have been raised with. Accepting body, sexuality, intimacy is not something that comes overnight. Posting a picture can be liberating, celebrating or informative. But most of all it should be your choice.
So is it Koons narcissistic or vulnerable self depicted here or perhaps both?
We’ll still allow nudity if the content offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts.
The above is simply an impossible task to judge, but I am glad google stopped and we can go on blogging as we wish.