06/13/2014 05:36 pm ET Updated Jun 18, 2014

Jeff Koons Gets Naked And Pumps Iron For Vanity Fair, Because He's Jeff Koons (NSFW)


Jeff Koons Is Back. Or, at least, that's what Vanity Fair will have the world believing with its recent profile of Mr. Neo-Pop, aka the "world's most expensive birthday clown."

And, surprise!, the article, in print but not yet digital form, lures the reader in with a giant photo of the artist in the buff... pumping iron, nonetheless.

“Koons, at 59, has already begun a strict exercise-and-diet regimen so that he will have a shot at working undiminished into his 80s," the profile proclaims, "as Picasso did.” If the naked image of man who's made his career off of over-done inflatable animals didn't do the trick, perhaps the thought that he's Pablo Picasso incarnate will.

Besides the rear spotlight -- which is small potatoes compared to Koons' own portrayals of himself -- Vanity Fair covers its bases throughout the post, commenting on the eighties art world star's mammoth art-making machine (he employs roughly 128 studio assistants on the regular) and his good ol' Brady Bunch of a family (he and his eight children traverse the planet in a vehicle lovingly dubbed the Koonsmobile).

Overall, the whole "Koons Comeback" saga is like a whiff of deja vu. VF has given Koons the treatment not once, but twice before.

Back in 2001, the story was the same: Koons is fighting his way up the art ladder, only that time he was recovering from a rough custody battle with his famous ex, the Italian porn actor turned politician La Cicciolina. "He himself doesn’t actually paint or sculpt or draw anymore," Ingrid Sischy wrote. "Like many contemporary artists, he’s more an auteur in the cinematic sense of directing a complex collaborative enterprise."

How nice.

It wasn't so different in 1991 either. Anthony Haden-Guest wrote of Koons' first big show of the nineties, in which Koons referred to his own artistic inclinations if they were a single, predictably pompous third party. “It’s lost its desire for power. But it still wants to lead. For me, this is the real perversion. It’s about as perverse as things get."

And while the '91 interview mentioned anal sex, the 2014 story probes poop, as Gallerist so rightfully pointed out. Oh, how far we've come. We can't wait to see next decade's ode to Koons, because heavens knows he'll be at all of our funerals before his own.

And to harken back to the question New York Magazine's Carl Swanson posed just last year: What does the art world have against Jeff Koons? Well, probably issues with stuff like this.

We can expect a few more Koons comparisons to over-discussed male artists like Picasso and Gustav Courbet in the run-up to his retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. That opens on June 27, if you can contain your excitement. Multimillion-dollar works will likely be on view.

Jeff Koons In All His Glory