What is left to say about Jeff Koons as he arrives for his first solo exhibition in Switzerland at the Fondation Beyeler? The exhibition was made possible by Hugo Boss, which will throw a who’s who party on June 14th during Art Basel where billionaire collectors Eli Broad, Dakis Joannou, and Peter Brant will mingle with mega-gallerists like Jeffrey Deitch, Matthew Marks, and Larry Gagosian. So who wants to party with Jeff Koons at Art Basel? The answer is everyone, including all the “art haters” (critics) out there. For good measure let’s look back at the words of the industry’s most famous art hater, author of Most Art Sucks, Charlie Finch:
Give the devil his due. Jeff Koons may be the living embodiment of Herbert Marcuse’s one-dimensional man, and a mean son-of-a-bitch to boot, but only Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso equal him among 20th century artists…. It is the brilliance of Koons that he has, from this sick truism, manufactured a set of desirable objects which repeatedly separate the rich from their millions.
And it is the key to deciphering the sour mystique of Koons’ personality, or lack thereof. A sort of benign Hannibal Lecter or a more talented Mr. Ripley, Koons is as inert, unchanging, formally sterile, and unresponsive as his objects.
There is nothing self-reflective or introspective about man or object…. Koons’ persona, history and work are as soulless as a $20 bill and thus a far more precious commodity, in this particular world and time. A hundred years from now they should be worthless junk, scorned for the derivation, the kitsch and the unpleasant man who didn’t make them.