German / English
In Jeff Koons’ new paintings the zoom function has been switched on: close-up brush squiggles and an oversized sketch based on Gustave Courbet’s Origin of the World cross-fade into pixelated nude photographs dissolving into a magnified halftone screen. A real pleasure in color dominates, and the spread thighs of the “most naked of nudes” lead the eye into the background where grid-like pop art patterns blur into landscapes that turn into huge pin-ups when viewed from a greater distance. It’s an interplay between art, pleasure, and sex, also drawing energy from the medial tension between photography, painting, and digital technology. Jeff Koons brilliantly exploits the mass-media society’s visual rhetoric in these paintings, which permit only surrender: “My work will use everything that it can to communicate. It will use any trick, I’ll do anything—absolutely anything—to communicate and to win the viewer over.”
This bibliophile edition presents five of the new paintings on high-quality color plates. In addition, detail views and installation shots show how the beholder’s perception is altered by spatial distance or proximity. In her introduction, Anette Hüsch, curator of the major Celebration exhibition at the National Gallery in Berlin in 2008, takes a close look at Jeff Koons’ sensual universe. Gudrun Inboden’s essay unravels the layers of the artist’s montages and points to the consistently humanistic stance that this magnificent artist has taken throughout his entire work.