Watch & Listen

Jeff Koons, Self-Portrait, 1991

Jeff Koons, Self-Portrait, 1991

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Scott Rothkopf: You see a stylized depiction of the artist in a mode that suggests certain neoclassical sculptures from eighteenth century Italy or France, very idealized.

As much as Koons casts himself in this sculpture as an idealized, heroic figure, it also suggests the statues that maybe you would see in Las Vegas or in a theme restaurant.

There's something corny and kitschy about an artist presenting himself in this way. His head is tilted back. His eyes are closed. He looks like he's ready to have makeup put on, to receive the spotlight. His nipples are pert. His muscles are bulging. He could be having an orgasm. Is that brought on by a lover, the attention of the crowd? Is he high on his own achievement?

With the Banality work in the preceding gallery, Koons became a sensation in New York and around the world. With Made in Heaven he started to figure himself as part of that celebrity.

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