Art 21 and Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons' sculpture Puppy, a 12 metres high ...Image via Wikipedia

Art 21 is a non-profit organization that is coming into its 12th year.  They produce an Emmy award winning series for PBS about contemporary art.  Through their work, they have made art more accessible to the public while archiving information about current artists for future use. 

I have a friend who is involved with Art 21 and over the years I have been meaning to go to one of their salon events.  Last night was the first event we went to. Jeff Koons was interviewed by Susan Sollins, the Executive Director of Art 21.  We also saw the video that was made about him prior to their conversation.

I was particularly interested in Koons because I had the incredible opportunity to see his studio a few months ago.  His large public installations are pretty amazing.  The guy did an installation at Versailles which says it all.  His thought process on how he creates art is very Warholesque.  It might be Koon's vision but many people work on his paintings and sculptures.  Using computers and then filtering down the process to actual hands. 

Last night was interesting to hear him speak about his love of art.  He is totally into art from a historical bend.  He collects mostly old artists going back to the the second century.  He incorporates all of that in his work.  Art history is the premise for everything he does. 

My only issue with last night was the conversation.  Many times, in the art world, there is an air of pretension.  Names are dropped and taken for granted that everyone knows about certain techniques.  Not easy for the average pedestrian which is in many ways unfortunate.  You can love what you see but nobody can explain the premise of the thought behind the art in simplistic terms.  The Executive Director, Susan Sollins, although certainly an art historian with a passion for what she does shouldn't be the person interviewing the artist.  I don't know her but I found the interview could have been more insightful and enlightening.  The questions from the audience were better than hers.  I found myself wondering how much longer she would go on. 

Luckily, it was a short event.  I am going to spend some time looking at the series that Art 21 has done.  I'd like to learn more about the artists but am also hoping the series is engaging and doesn't put me to sleep.  Last night, Fred was nodding off and I could have easily joined him.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Name

    Totally give Art:21 shows a chance! They are a great thing to watch to learn about artists. I particularly like: Allora & Calzadilla, John Baldessari, Allan McCollum, Mary Heilmann, William Kentridge, Lorna Simpson, and Andrea Zittel episodes. First thing I do whenever I feel a cold coming on is to get some yummy soup and curl up on the couch with Art:21 – makes me feel better quick!

    1. Gotham Gal

      I love what they do, I just didn’t love the interview.