Guess who is appearing on The Colbert Report tomorrow? We'll give you a clue. He loves inflatable pool toys, soft-core porn and Michael Jackson. If you guessed Jeff Koons than you should tune in to Colbert on July 31 to see the kitsch maestro go up against the television persona's patriotic machismo. We have a feeling Koons will get along splendidly with Colbert's caricatured personality, seeing as they both have a deep appreciation for wealth, fame and American glory.
Koons is having quite the summer, with two concurrent exhibitions showing in Germany's Schirn Kunsthalle and Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung Frankfurt. One honoring his painting and the other his sculpture work, the shows will place Koons' homages to pop life amongst classical busts, Egyptian tombs and other ancient objets d'art. In June, he even taught a second grade art class for non-profit organization Studio in a School, which brings visual arts to New York public schools. (We have a feeling Colbert might take him to task for forcing his "arty" views on young, unsuspecting public school students tomorrow evening.)
Koons is a contentious figure in contemporary art, pushing Warhol era fascination with the mundane into radical new heights with his enchantment with kitsch, capitalism and the banal. Many take issue with Koons' disregard for the deeper ideas in favor of a shiny surface, but his $23.6 million heart sculpture might be right up one-percent defender Colbert's alley. We always love the chance to hear art discussed outside the sometimes uber-insular art world, and are excited to see how Colbert tackles one of contemporary art's greatest giants.
As one of the few contemporary artists who has garnered enough fame to become a household name, Koons is no stranger to being interviewed by high-profile personas. Last year Pharrell Williams delved into his childhood inspirations and personal art collection in "Harper's Bazaar." However, the whole thing turned into a love fest and we are hoping Colbert will push Koons into a more unfamiliar territory.
Tune in tomorrow night to the Colbert Report at 11:30 pm EST on Comedy Central.
Jeff Koons two exhibitions, "The Painter" and "The Sculptor," will show at Schirn Kunsthalle and Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung Frankfurt in Germany until September 23, 2012. Check out a slideshow of his work on view below:
Jeff Koons Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988 Banality porcelain 106.7 x 179.1 x 82.6 cm © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Bourgeois Bust - Jeff and Ilona, 1991 Made in Heaven marble 113 x 71.1 x 53.3 cm © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Antiquity 1, 2010 Antiquity oil on canvas 274.3 x 213.4 cm
Jeff Koons Rabbit, 1986 Statuary Stainless steel, 41 x 19 x 12 inches © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Ushering in Banality, 1988 Banality polychromed wood 96.5 x 157.5 x 76.2 cm © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Woman in Tub (Jeff Koons, 1988) in front of the Altar of the Assumption of the Virgin (Andrea della Robbia, ca. 1500) at the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (simulation) © Jeff Koons Photo: Markus Tretter
Jeff Koons Pink Panther, 1988 Banality porcelain 104.1 x 52.1 x 48.3 cm © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Poodle, 1991; polychromed wood 58.4 x 100.3 x 52.1 cm © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Antiquity 3, 2011 Antiquity oil on canvas 259.1 x 350.5 cm © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Bluepoles, 2000 Easyfun-Ethereal oil on canvas. 299.7 x 431.8 cm. Image: Courtesy Gagosian Gallery © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Bracelet, 1995-98 Celebration oil on canvas 265.1 x 355 cm Image: Courtesy Gagosian Gallery private collection © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Hulk Elvis II, 2007 Hulk Elvis oil on canvas 274.3 x 213.4 cm Image: Courtesy Gagosian Gallery © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Landscape (Cherry Tree), 2009; oil on canvas; 274.3 x 213.4 cm. Collection of Michael & Lise Evans, New York © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Lips, 2000 Easyfun-Ethereal oil on canvas 299.7 x 431.8 cm Image: Courtesy Gagosian Gallery © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Loopy, 1999 Easyfun oil on canvas 274.3 x 200.7 cm Courtesy Bill Bell Collection © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Monkey Train, 2007; oil on canvas; 274.3 x 213.4 cm. Image: Courtesy Gagosian Gallery private collection © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Popeye Train (Crab), 2008 Popeye oil on canvas 274.3 x 213.4 cm Photo: Rob McKeever © Jeff Koons
Liebieghaus Exterior view Photography: Alexander Heimann © Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung Frankfurt
Jeff Koons Kiepenkerl, 1987 Kiepenkerl stainless steel 180.3 x 66 x 94 cm Courtesy Murderme © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Large Vase of Flowers, 1991. Polychromed wood. 132.1 x 109.2 x 109.2 cm © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons Catalog, 2012 Jeff Koons. The Painter & The Sculptor, 2 volumes in slipcase, German/English edition, approx. 360 pages, approx. 270 colour illustrations, design Kühle und Mozer, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, 2012.