Wednesday, 9 March 2016

An Case Study of Jeff Koons Pinpointing the Stimulus for Image Appropriating and how the Intended use is Similar to Peter Doig's (Part1)

In 1999 Jeff Koons exhibited his Easyfun painting series at the Sonnabend Gallery in New York and then in 2000 he was interviewed by David Sylvester and talked about his image appropriation for these paintings.
When asked from where he sourced the image of the horse for the painting Cut-Out Koons  explained,
Jeff Koons - Cut-Out 1999
"The idea came from a photograph in the newspaper. The image is slightly manipulated. I wanted to pick up aspects of the work horse, so I put in these little iron things and threw in a flower in the hat – things like that. My painting is really, for me, about my background. I was trying to show that I come from a provincial background."
The painting Cut-Out shows a colourful picture of a horse's head set against a classic American monument, Mount Rushmore, and on the horses face is a space where someone might push through their own head but this is been filled by the image of some Cheerios splashing fourth, which Koons
describes as 'optimistic'.
With his statement Koons is saying that he has used a photograph that he has then manipulated so that he can adjust the meaning, to create the sense of something of himself. For whatever reason the image of the horse for him conjured up something about his youth, his origins, and through using it in the painting he wants us to share in the experience. It comes down to that moment when Koons saw the photograph in the newspaper. It's a sense of the artist attaching themselves to, if you like, an alien image, but then creating associations that were not originally there. This pressence of the image's meaning is twisted, which is then used to generate a visual language for the artist.
Koons is asked about the next painting in the series, which is called Hair, and in a similar style of bright colours and strong motives. He explains where he found the images for the painting.
Jeff Koons - Hair 1999
"The hair came from an ad in a magazine – a coupon – type ad. It was originally blonde. Trying to create more of an image of every woman, I changed it from blonde into this kind of brownish colour with blonde and red highlights and brunette aspects...The background came from a box for an inflatable toy, that sort of image where people are in a pool, with young children playing with an inflatable toy."

Koons is explaining that the image's gathered for this set of paintings comes from the everyday packaging and branding that we experience. It a classically post-modern style Koons views the everyday design, that we interact with and are persuaded by, as a viable source for image appropriation. He also views these as visual motifs that we buy into because of the experiences that we go through as we see them. Often this bright bold branding that he pulls into his paintings and sculptures is clearly associated with joyful experiences, excitement, strong tastes and smells and sensuous moments.
By taking such imagery Koons is using the visual language as a tool to stimulate the viewer. The sensations that Koons draws the viewer into are quite different from those of Peter Doig's paintings although similarities can be drawn from the intensity of some of the atmospheres. Whereas Koons wants the viewer to tap in to sensation that is on some level materialistic yet intense, Doig wants the viewer to experience an environment that in its own way has some very rich experiences whether that's a cold snow covered waste or the heat of a tropical Trinidadian evening. Both are playing with an intense atmosphere and set of powerful colours that at times are exaggerated and mesmerising.
An important aspect of this is that both painters use a form of image appropriation where the experience of initially finding that image triggers a memory sensation for the artist. They then recognised this device knowing that it will affect the viewer through them experiencing it.


SYLVESTER, D. Interviews with American Artists (2002) Random House, London.
ROSENBLUM, R & SYLVESTER, D. Jeff Koons: Easyfun-Ethereal (2001) Harry N. Abrams, America

No comments:

Post a Comment