Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. Koons studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. He is well known for his blending of pop, conceptual, and appropriation art as well as his large-scale reproductions of banal objects. Koons often uses images and objects from popular culture, framing questions about taste, pleasure, consumerism, and industrial fabrication. Koons strives to create art that he sees as being universal and inclusive: “I have seen how works of art can be used against people, how they can be demanding and intimidating, by the suggestion that you can’t enjoy or understand them unless you have read this piece of literature, or know that piece of mythology. It is total disempowerment. But art has the ability to achieve the absolute opposite of that.”
Recent major exhibitions have appeared at Chateau de Versailles France (2008); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2008); Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2006); the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2002), among others. Koons has participated in the Bienal de Sao Paulo (2002); Venice Biennale (1990, 1997); Sydney Biennale (1990); and the Whitney Biennial (1987, 1989). He was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy for Arts and Sciences in 2005. Koons lives and works in New York City.