Artist Jeff Koons explains his massive and wonderful Play-Doh sculpture

Originally published at:

Those balloon animals are clever. This is just stupid.

Yes, I’m a Philistine.

1 Like

I don’t care to hear artists go on about their art. To me the charm of visual art is that it doesn’t need words. But I’d certainly like to hear the actual fabricators talk about how they made this object.


I find balloon dog simplistic and boring.

This, on the other hand, this is fantastic, I really love this- incredible texture duplications of what happens to the surface of torn playdoh.

It’s incredible the amount of detail he really put a lot of extreme care into duplicating that surface. Im really impressed, and the colors are extremely vivid.

What I really like the most is that this is solid aluminum and I would kill to see how they joined this together because that is a special form of magic to me


Philistine bait, I see it.


Jeff Koons is a total bullshit artist, not a sculptor and barely even a creator (was he ever?) but the fabrication of his kitschy work is fascinating all the same.
My favourite is the chrome bunny but his blow-up alligator is pretty cool too. I’ve touched that and you really expect it to feel like inflated plastic but nope, it feels like a spray can.


Please, no violence.


Trebek: And the answer is “Jeff Koons” and “wonderful”.

Contestant (buzzes in): Ah… what is “two words that don’t belong in the same sentence?”


I don’t wholly disagree… :thinking:
There’s a place for outsize wacky sculptures of anything, but I think we’d appreciate Koons’ work a little more if he wasn’t such a massive wanker about it.
In that he’s only surpassed by Damien Hirst…


Whenever I look at a Jeff Koons objet d’yoodge, I’m left with the same reaction - “My, that’s a large whatever it is. I wonder how they made that. And why.”


I think Koons is a massive wanker.

I DO like Pop Art though, and so I do end up liking some of his stuff. I DO like this so much knowing it is aluminum. .

It is sort of like my relationship with Kanye. MASSIVE dick IMO, but I dig some of his songs a lot.


I don’t feel like we can talk bout Koons without discussing process.

IMO the guy represents a very ugly vision of art-making, where expert studio technicians create his work for hourly wages, while the work itself is wholly “owned” by Koons himself (even though all his work is ‘appropriated’ from ‘mass culture’). There are obvious analogues with how other industries are organized (architecture, film, fashion), and obviously conceiving of a thing is work unto itself, but for me, Koons’ art is a ghastly, if accurate embodiment of capitalism itself. Hard to enjoy the work. I know people who have worked for him for years and are/were very happy there so maybe I’m off base. Then again, he did fire the majority of his staff last year:


“simplistic and boring” yeah, that’s pretty much Koons in a nutshell.

His workshop - the people behind these large scale executions - are the really impressive bunch. The technology and casting techniques he spends on are rapidly improving and impressive. Like most of his past work, it tends to have a freshness date in direct contrast to the prices paid.

Big squishy clay pieces? It’s been done, Jeff. Don’t hype yourself so hard.

Screen Shot 2020-04-07 at 1.22.02 PM


There’s a story about Willem DeKooning that seems relevant. I can’t vouch for the truth of it.

Towards the end of his life, DeKooning went into serious mental decline, and his children were granted conservatorship of his estate and work. Every day the kids would give him a glob of clay to manipulate and he’d squeeze it in his hands and mush it around a bit. The kids boxed up the best of those clay turds and shipped 'em off to a foundry; the foundry used a 10x pantrograph to render them in monumental scale, and the resulting bronzes were sold to museums as lawn art. If memory serves, there’s a good example of the type at the Boston MFA.

Unconscious and simplistic are not the same as instinctive and simple. Koons and Hirst and others (I’m looking at you Frank Stella) have become wealthy men by hiring skilled craftspeople to inflate simplistic ideas into objects that audiences are willing to mistake for thoughtful art. I can do without it.

Oddly, I enjoy Christo and Claes Oldenburg. Go figure.

ETA - Ninja’d by @laynesk.


Next week: Massive lawsuits against kids making stuff with Play-Doh.


Enough people hate Koons, as a person and/or artist, that I’m tempted to like him.

Unfortunately he overwhelmed my contrarian support with this horseshit where he installed a giant billboard for the Jeff Koons Art Brand in the middle of Paris as a “tribute” to the victims of the terrorist attack there, and if the survivors and the victims’ families don’t like it, they can go fuck themselves.

Too bad, Jeff. I have terrible taste in art, so it should have worked out great between us.


You would be surprised how many established artists do this. IIRC the glass maker Chihuly uses interns and apprentices to do the bulk of the work making the parts of his various glass sculptures. Granted they do gain skills working with him, but don’t reap the benefits of the rewards. I used to work at a museum where he attended the grand opening and one of the ladies I worked with talked about working with him in such a program over the summer.

A lot of the Renaissance greats did something similar where their hoards of assistants did a lot of work. Warhol made art on an industrial scale.

I do find it ironic that part of the Pop Art movement was to show everyday commercial items could be art. And now they are making their art into every day commercial items with the souvenirs you can get based on things like theses sculptures.

I won’t lie, I would find it interesting to own a scaled down version of that Play-doh that you put together and made of aluminum. But I know it would never be in my price range.

One last thing - fun fact - Play-doh was originally created and sold to clean soot from fire places off of wall paper.


Interesting read - i mean the amount of people he employed sounds incredibly topheavy, but I’m sure they were getting peanuts for working on his gigantic eyesores.

Also, ick: “Koons lost his 10,000-square-foot 29th Street space, [where he infamously modeled nude in its custom-built gym for a Vanity Fair spread”. Speaking for myself, I think we’ve seen a naked Jeff Koons more than enough.


Intent is what it is…

So here I am to display technique, which has dick-all to do with art.
The image above and many like it were painted without the use of masking.

I like the chaos of the most recent ones though.
Yeah, those ones made in a workshop by others.

1 Like

Well, now I’m hungry.

1 Like