Jeff Koons is one of the most successful and influential American artists of the 21st century. In his MasterClass, Jeff reveals the influences behind his most famous works and guides you through creating art that helps you communicate with the world.
[MUSIC PLAYING] [VACUUM WHIRRING] ANNOUNCER: Well, he fakes left, throws to his right with that ability to throw it up in the air. JEFF KOONS: What is art? What is it? Is it painting? Is it sculpture? Art is a vehicle that lets us have an impact on the external world and also lets the external world have an impact on us.
MAN: He’s one of this generation’s most influential artists. AUCTIONEER: Tonight, I have the pleasure of selling the Koons Rabbit, an icon of 20th century sculpture, ladies and gentlemen. Here it is. At $80 million is the bid and Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, $80.
WOMAN: This is the first time the entire museum has been occupied by one artist, a landmark event for such a controversial figure in the art world. – It’s a Jeff Koons, K-O-O-N-S.
MAN: Is there a more important artist than Jeff Koons today?
WOMAN: His work is instantly recognized. JEFF KOONS: You know, when I was younger, art had rules. And it had a structure. It can be looked at as whether it’s good or bad. But I really wanted more. I wanted freedom. And art can be absolutely anything. [MUSIC PLAYING] If I think back to my journey in life and as an artist, it began in York, Pennsylvania.
My father was an interior decorator and had a furniture store. And what really captivated me was how certain rooms would change. And because it was a furniture store, and different shipments would come of different styles of furniture, maybe one week, one of the rooms in the store would be a living room. And you would maybe have French provincial furniture.
And another room would be a dining room. And there would be different styles. So I learned that different colors, different textures, different patterns can affect your feelings and that this visual information, this stimulation, can affect how I felt, how people feel when you experience this. And I was learning this vocabulary, the– the vocabulary of how to really be interacting with the external world and to be open to it, learning to open myself up to feelings and sensations.
I moved to New York when I was around 21 years of age. And I’m– I’m saying to myself, you know, I can do this. I mean, this is what I want to do. I would like to live this type of life where art is something that I’m involved with every day. I want to be part of the avant-garde, how they dealt with just a total commitment to the realization of their ideas and confronting the reality of their time, what the world was like, the type of tensions that they had in the world, and to try to make sense of it.
One of the concepts that the avant-garde would always be working with was the idea of the manifesto. And I remember creating my own manifesto to be forever free in the power, glory, spirituality, and romance liberated in the mainstream, criticality gone. And it was a little bit of a rallying cry to artists that use the tools of art. Use everything you can to communicate with people. And to me, that’s what
Jeff Koons teaches you how color, scale, form, and more can help you channel your creativity and create the art that’s in you.
01. Meet Your Instructor
02. Turn Everyday Objects Into Art
03. Approaching the Blank Canvas
04. Personal Iconography
05. Art History: A Dialogue Across Time
06. Art Innovation
07. Pink Ballerina: A Dialogue With the Eternal
08. Size & Scale
09. The Power of Color
10. Form Case Study: Balloon Dog
11. Texture & Materials
12. Showing Your Art
13. Life As an Artist