The Un-Private Collection: Jeff Koons and John Waters

Co-presented with The Broad museum
Monday, February 24, 2014
Episode Summary

Artist Jeff Koons and filmmaker/author/photographer John Waters discuss Koon’s innovative and ever-changing art-making practice, which ranges from sculpture to painting to digital media. Like Waters, Koons’s art comments on the notion of "good taste," as well as the decadence of capitalist culture, the innocence of childhood, and beauty’s eternal resonance. Waters will speak with Koons about the inspiration and ideas behind his iconic works, such as Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Balloon Dog (Blue), and Girl with Dolphin and Monkey Triple Popeye (Seascape), all of which are part of the Broad's collection.

Participant(s) Bio

Jeff Koons emerged in the 1980s as an innovative sculptor whose works quickly became icons of art history. Celebrating consumer goods and questioning accepted standards of taste, Koons’s art is an ironic comment on the decadence of contemporary culture. However, Koons posits that his relationship with his son, transcendence, and enduring classical aesthetics are motivating factors for his art. According to John Waters: “Koons is never campy or even merely clever. Just smart. Koons has moved way beyond any kind of taste into a new realm of real richness, and I’m not talking about money.”

John Waters was drawn to movies at an early age, particularly exploitation movies with lurid ad campaigns. In 1972, Waters created the most notorious film of 1970s American independent cinema, Pink Flamingos. His one-man spoken-word lecture entitled This Filthy World has been performed around the world. Carsick, Waters’s seventh book, which chronicles hitchhiking from Baltimore to San Francisco, is due next June. In 2011, Waters curated Absentee Landlord at The Walker Art Center and was a 2011 Venice Biennale juror. Waters is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Wexner Center International Arts Advisory Council.