‘They work with companies involved in moulding

and going from penniless to the world

One of the world’s most famous artists, Jeff Koons has now turned his hand to designing handbags for Louis Vuitton, putting an avant garde spin on works by the canada goose clearance old masters. He talks to The Telegraph about this latest project andhis colourful life.

In early 2015, Jeff Koons took a call from Delphine Arnault, the executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, who asked if he’d like to collaborate on a collection of handbags. This is not the kind of creating Koons normally does.

He is one of today’s Canada Goose Coats On Sale most Canada Goose Parka acclaimed contemporary artists, whose monumental pieces are exhibited in museums around the world, and whose interests extend to blow up toys, household appliances and kitsch rather canada goose outlet black friday than luxury fashion accessories.

Now 62, canada goose jacket outlet Koons has produced a parade of eye popping works that include Rabbit, a stainless steel cast of an inflatable bunny; Puppy, a 43ft high West Highland terrier embedded with living flowers; and Play Doh, a copy of a multicoloured lump that one of his sons made as a toddler only this took 20 years to complete and is almost twice the canada goose outlet store uk height of the average canada goose outlet person.

Koons doesn’t need to work. But when he got the call from Arnault about the bags, he found himself saying yes which is not something Koons says lightly.

‘I knew it would be canada goose store a really large commitment, because if I make something, canada goose outlet sale I really want to make something that’s worthy of spending that energy and time, and hopefully create something that has a profoundness about it, and a reason for being.’

We meet in his studio, a low lying commercial building in Chelsea, New York (he has another space in Hell’s Kitchen), where he’s worked for the past 17 years.

Koons uses industrial processes: the way he works is he gets an idea, and a team of assistants, specialists and fabricators make it, with Koons controlling every step along the way.

He currently employs 148 people at his studio, and several are working at large screen computers in the outer offices large, white, windowless rooms with grey concrete floors.

Koons sits, in solitary splendour, at a white table in the centre. He likes things ‘simple’, he says. And on his desk is a neat pile of books, a laptop and a plastic sandwich bag filled with Cheerios.

Bernard Arnault, Delphine’s father, and the chairman and chief executive officer uk canada goose of the LVMH group (which owns Louis Vuitton) is a collector of Koons’s work, and Koons has known the Arnault family for a long time.

He first collaborated with the group about six years ago when he produced a limited canada goose outlet online edition champagne bottle holder (and bottle and case gift sets) for Dom Prignon canada goose black friday sale (also owned by LVMH).

Based on his sculpture Balloon Venus, the 2ft tall, fuchsia figure canada goose factory outlet cost $20,000 (not including the bottle of champagne). What Koons liked was the group’s access to top quality technical know how. ‘They work with companies involved in moulding, production, colouring, and have everything at such a high standard,’ he explains.

Koons is focused on pushing materials to their limits and demands flawless execution. To achieve the reflective brilliance of the stainless steelhe used for BalloonDog, for example, took months of polishing and many remakes. He wanted every fold and crease to look balloon like.

For Winter Bears, a pair of wooden bears grinning and waving paws, he spent many months in Germany and Italy tracking down the best wood carvers. And his larger than life rendering of Michael Jackson with his pet money, Bubbles, is made from finest porcelain.

His Mona Lisa, for example, is more than twice the size of the original, and has a blue glass cheap canada goose sphere on a shelf that juts out from the painting. Known as ‘gazing balls’, these were apparently popularised canada goose outlet by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and are still used as garden ornaments. Koons’s idea is that the viewer sees himself or herself reflected in canada goose outlet online uk the perfectly shiny surface as well as the famous image.

Koons likes to see himself as a person who opens up art. ‘My work is always trying to break down the hierarchy or the disempowerment that art can make people feel,’ he explains.

It’s an impulse that was prompted by the acute embarrassment he felt as a young art student during a visit to the Baltimore Museum of Art when he realised that he didn’t know much about the works on display.

The Gazing Ball paintings have been transposed on to the surfaces of the handbags, and each is emblazoned with the name of the original artist whose work is represented Titian, Fragonard, Rubens, Van Gogh, da Vinci.

Other embellishments include a tag in https://www.naslsoccerbowl.com the shape of an inflatable rabbit ‘a reference to my presence’, Koons explains and the initials JK (in a reconfiguration of the Louis Vuitton monogram). Koons says the aesthetic is ‘metallic, street, bling’, cheap canada goose uk but with the sophistication of LV. (Handbag aficionados will recognise some of the styles: Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull.)

Jeff Koons spent his early years in York, an old industrial city in Pennsylvania. His Canada Goose Outlet father, an interior decorator, owned a furniture store and his mother was a housewife and seamstress who made wedding dresses. ‘When my father designed an interior, he would sit down and sketch everything out on graph paper.

‘If you ordered a sofa from my father, and a love seat, and a lamp and a mirror, you knew exactly what you were getting because he would create a drawing that would be very, very precise.

‘You wouldn’t envision a lamp of 4ft tall and receive a 12in one,’ he says. ‘He taught me vision and that sense of caring.’

He studied art in Baltimore, transferring for an influential final year to the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was taught by Ed Paschke, one of the ‘Chicago Imagists’, a group marked by irreverence and attention grabbing populism. Koons got pushed into avant garde circles.

He settled in New York in 1977 and got a job selling memberships at the Museum of Modern Art, where he was noted for his outfits polka dot shirts, floral canada goose outlet jackets vests, big canada goose outlet parka bow ties, and an occasional inflatable plastic flower and for doubling the membership roll (he is adept at selling and supported himself for five years as a highly successful commodities broker).

By now he was producing his own work: inflatable plastic toys placed on shop bought mirrors. He progressed to small kitchen appliances, as well as vacuum cleaners and carpet shampooers encased in brightly lit glass display cases.

A turning point came in the mid 1980s when Charles Saatchi, the advertising and public relations executive, then one of the world’s most active buyers of contemporary art, started acquiring works by Koons. But it was Banality, an exhibition held simultaneously in New York, Chicago and Cologne in 1988, that made him an art star.

Each of the works including the Michael Jackson and Bubbles figure was made in triplicate, and the show earned Koons a lot of money. And yet the rise hasn’t been smooth.

At the same time, he was struggling to complete a series of works called Celebration, which focused on the things children love: party hats, birthday cake, Play Doh, a dog made from party balloons. ‘Celebration was a way for me to connect to a larger audience but at buy canada goose jacket cheap the same time it was so my son could understand that I was thinking about him,’ he explains.

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