This paper analyzes the commercial success of contemporary artist Jeff Koons, who is known for his monumental balloon animals and kitschy porcelain figurines. Love him or hate him, one should not make the mistake of confusing the message for the messenger as Koons’s work is a reflection of the emptiness, idolatry and materialism of our age. Moreover, the conflation of art with cheap consumerist kitsch is a function of a limited understanding of the term aesthetics, which has often associated with superfluity and vague notions of taste and beauty. However, the realm of aesthetics is fundamental to human agency and freedom. Indeed, if we are to have any hope of a meaningful existence in hyperreal landscape of the twenty-first century, then we must reclaim art as experience and aesthetics as ontology.
|Keywords:||Jeff Koons, Aesthetics, Liberation Aesthetics, Incarceration Aesthetics, Art Market|
Professor, Art History, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA, USA
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