Monday, September 15, 2014

The Cult Of Jeff Koons Must Die

Might does not always make right, although that would seem to be the proposition on which Koons’s current lofty position is based. In art history departments there is nowadays an inclination to submit all art to a sociopolitical analysis, which is convenient when critics and scholars want to rationalize the considerable attention they pay to Koons’s marketing strategies. Too many column inches have been wasted on his stint in the early 1980s as a commodities broker on Wall Street and on his powers of persuasion when it comes to pushing art dealers to bankroll the extraordinary production costs involved with his work. Why should we care about any of this? When was it that the art of the deal became the only kind of art that art people want to talk about?


1 comment:

Pete said...

That was a fun read.

I think the crux of it is that professional art commentators desperately wants to be in on the joke, and not the butt of the joke.

It's important to note that the Whitney doesn't do its programming in a vacuum. A lot of collectors and museum benefactors **own** Koons pieces, and need to have them visit exhibitions for them to keep their value. The pieces would tank in value if we all didn't discuss Koons every ten years or so. That moneyed interests are setting the agenda shouldn't strike anyone as novel. This has parallels in much more serious matters. Especially considering the article's assertion of the complicity of the press and academia.

I'm not upset that other people like the work, and I don't begrudge Koons his monetary success. There is something amusing about ripping off rich people and charging tourists $20 to walk through a couple of rooms of pablum.