Jeff Koons

b.1955
Balloon Dog
Balloon Dog
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Jeff Koons is one of America’s most popular contemporary artists. His Neo-Pop aesthetics and conceptual stoutness borrow extensively from consumer culture. He is known for his oversized sculptures of kitschy souvenirs, toys, and ornaments that are bright and shiny, thus rendering the banal attractive and collectible.

With his Balloon Dog (1994–2000) series, there is a heft, weight, and permanence through the use of the mirror-polished steel that the original inflatable lacks.

Born Jeffrey Koons on January 21, 1955 in York, PA, the artist studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York in the late 1970s, where he currently lives and works.

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    Jeff Koons

    Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976. Koons lives and works in New York City.

    Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’s work has been shown in major galleries and institutions throughout the world. His work is the subject of a major exhibition organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Jeff Koons: A Retrospective (June 27 - October 19, 2014), which traveled to the Centre Pompidou Paris (November 26, 2014 - April 27, 2015) and the Guggenheim Bilbao (June 12 - September 27, 2015). 

    Recent exhibitions in Europe include Jeff Koons in Florence installed at Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy (September 25 - December 28, 2015) and Balloon Venus (Orange), which is currently on view in the rotunda of the Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria (September 30 - March 13, 2016). Gazing Ball Paintings, Koons’s most recent series, was exhibited for the first time at Gagosian Gallery, New York (November 12 - December 23, 2015).

    Jef Koons earned renown for his public sculptures, such as the monumental floral sculpture Puppy (1992), shown at Rockefeller Center and permanently installed at the Guggenheim Bilbao. Another floral sculpture, Split-Rocker (2000), previously installed at the Papal Palace in Avignon, Château de Versailles, and Fondation Beyeler in Basel, was most recently on view at Rockefeller Center in 2014.

    Koons has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. Notably, Koons received the Governor’s Awards for the Arts “Distinguished Arts Award” from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the “Golden Plate Award” from the Academy of Achievement. President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored Koons with the State Department’s Medal of the Arts for his outstanding commitment to the Art in Embassies Program and international cultural exchange.

    Jef Koons has been a board member of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) since 2002, and co-founded the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute with ICMEC for the purpose of combating global issues of child abduction and exploitation and to protect the world’s children.

    AWARDS AND HONORS

    2015
    Honoree at Royal Academy America Gala, A  "Rated" Evening, New York, NY
    Honoree at the Riverkeeper’s Annual Fishermen’s Ball, New York, NY
    Presented keys to the city of Florence by mayor Dario Nardella at Palazzo Vecchio’s grand Sala dell’Udienza, Florence, Italy
    Honoree at the National Young Arts Foundation's YoungArts Backyard Ball, Miama, Florida
     
    2014
    Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award, 51st Annual International Achievement Summit, San Francisco, California
    Honoree at the Citizens’ Committee for Children event, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
     
    2012
    State Department's Medal of Arts awarded by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Art in Embassies, Washington D.C.
    Honoree at the Hermitage Museum Foundation's Annual Gala, The Hermitage Museum Foundation and Phillips de Pury, New York, New York
    Honoree at the Annual Spring Benefit, Friends of the High Line, New York, New York
     
    2011
    Lotus Award of Distinction, The Lotus Club, New York, New York
    Icon of Artistic Excellence Award, The Black Alumni of Pratt, Celebration of the Creative Spirit Benefit Dinner, New York, New York
    Voice of Art Award, FEGS, New York, New York
    Artist Icon Award in the Arts, The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut
     
    2010
    Made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy, London, United Kingdom
    Unveiling of RxArt Jeff Koons CT Scanner installation at Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital, Oak Lawn, Illinois
     
    2009
    Received the award in the best "Exhibition Outside the United States" category for Jeff Koons Versailles, Rob Pruitt's First Annual
    Arts Awards, Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York [October 29, 2009]
    The John Singleton Copley Award, The American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust, New York, New York
    National Arts Club Medal of Honor, New York, New York
    Maryland Institute College of Art Alumni Medal of Honor, Baltimore, Maryland
    Governor's Awards for the Arts Distinguished Arts Award, York, Pennsylvania
     
    2008
    Honorary Doctorate, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    Wollaston Award, Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom
     
    2007
    The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, along with The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children,
    developed the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute for the purpose of combating global issues of child abduction
    and exploitation
    Promoted by President Jacques Chirac from Chevalier to Officier of the French Legion of Honor for his ongoing strengthening of
    relations between France and the United States
    Artist of the Year, American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art & Architecture, New York, New York
     
    2006
    Artistic Achievement Award, Americans For The Arts, Washington, D.C.
     
    2005
    Creative Patronage Award, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Elected to the American Academy for Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Honored by the Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families, Brooklyn, New York
     
    2003
    Museum of Fine Arts School Medal Award, Boston, Massachusetts
     
    2002
    Appointed to the Board of Directors, International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, Alexandria, Virginia
    Inducted to the Signet Society for Arts and Letters at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Received a Doctorate of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa, from The Corcoran, Washington, D.C.
    Global Vision Award, Second Annual Hope Awards, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Alexandria, Virginia
    Awarded the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, Skowhegan School of Arts, New York, New York
     
    2001
    Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, nominated by President Jacques Chirac and presented by Jean-Jacques Aillagon,
    President of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
     
    2000
    BZ Cultural Award from the City of Berlin, Germany
     
    1999
    Art Start for Children Award, Learning Through Art / The Guggenheim Museum Children’s Program, New York.

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