2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Jeff Koons: Artistic Parody and False Comfort in the Consumer Age
Samantha K. Lyons
Dr. Sara Orel, Dr. Julia DeLancey, and Prof. John Bohac , Faculty Mentors

"My work is a support system for people to feel good about themselves." This noble statement, posited by contemporary artist Jeff Koons, seems farcical when one discovers his oeuvre consists of seemingly aggrandized knickknacks some critics view as more fitting in a souvenir shop than a high-end gallery. Yet Koons commodity kitsch art opens up important dialogue that allows one to assess aspects of consumerism and aesthetic taste in both the art world and public. In my thesis, I will present a compelling exploration into the postmodern, surfeit art scene in which Koons operates, the ideas he challenges, and how he uses his own exposure to propagate the irony of his projected intention. By using the critical approach of reception theory, I will also explore the inconsistency between the message Koons feels he communicates to his intended lower-class audiences to what actual viewers might interpret for themselves.

Keywords: Jeff Koons, Contemporary art, Consumerism, Banality, Kitsch, Reception theory

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 21-3
Location: VH 1324
Time: 10:00

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