JEFFKOONS: Popeye is a piece that makes me think about my father, and my father’s generation. My father was born in 1918.
Popeye is about an image of, “I am what I am.” Kind of a symbol of self-acceptance that you have to embrace who you are. Popeye has spinach. Spinach brings about his transcendence, and brings about his power. That’s what art [is]. Art is our spinach. Art can bring about this transcendence and this empowerment and our life can expand and we can have a vastness that is what we’re seeking.
In the Popeye sculpture, in place of the spinach it’s a flowerpot. There’s a live, growing plant there and that plant’s a symbol of the type of energy and transcendence art can give us in our lives.
NARRATOR: Koons begins sculptures like this one with a CT scan of a smaller figure. If you’d like hear how he translates the scan into a full-size sculpture, please tap the button to continue.