A Penetrating Discussion: Jeff Koons Talks Picasso at the Guggenheim

Last Friday evening in the Guggenheim’s basement auditorium, Jeff Koons, in his trademark smooth, soothing tone, told a sold-out crowd about something he often does before he goes to sleep. “At night, what I like to do, as an individual, when my wife is getting ready to go to bed and my children are already in bed, I go online,” he said excitedly, “and I just look at Picasso’s work.”

Mr. Koons said that Marcel Duchamp has long been a huge influence on him, but that he has become more impressed with Picasso over the past two decades. In fact, he’s started collecting the artist’s work, and has loaned one of his paintings to the exhibition on view in the Guggenheim’s galleries upstairs, “Picasso Black and White.” A 1969 scene of a bald man aggressively kissing a woman, it hangs near the top of the rotunda.
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