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The Power of Art

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons credits art history for helping him understand the power of art.

Koons explains:

"I grew up in Pennsylvania. My father was an interior decorator. He taught me about aesthetics, colors, textures: things that affect the way you feel.

Glazing Ball by Jeff Koons

Michael Jackson and Bubbles by Jeff Koons

As a socially mobile family we had a wide range of experiences. Still, I never spent a lot of time in art museums, apart from some visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art with my aunt. When you’re young, art is just something you can do. I really didn’t become aware of art’s power to unite all the different disciplines until I was in college—the first day of college, more or less. I had a real art history course, and there I realized that art was referencing philosophy and sociology and physics and aesthetics—all the disciplines, effortlessly connected."

Rabbit by Jeff Koons

And later, towards the end of the essay, he writes:

"I like to think of art history as putting a needle through kernels of popcorn and stringing them together. That threading mirrors human biology, the way chains of DNA connect—the truest narrative."

(Jeff Koons, “Feeling,” Art in America, June/July 2014, 40-42.)

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