New York City is filled with starving artists. Jeff Koons is certainly not one of them. Mr. Koons has become one of the world’s most famous living artists and has kept New York a center of contemporary art. The commodities broker-turned-visual artist, who now runs a factory-like art studio in Chelsea, recently sold his sculpture, Tulips, for over $33 million—the record auction price for a work by a living artist. Mr. Koons moved to New York from Pennsylvania in 1977, and brought with him a signature artistic style that, to this day, challenges popular notions of what art is. Mr. Koons insists that his kitschy works—like the super-sized, metallic Balloon Dog or the eerie, porcelain Michael Jackson and Bubbles—have no inherent, deeper meanings. He proudly holds that every individual viewer brings his or her own interpretation to his pieces, thereby rejecting the traditional role of art criticism. His distinctly postmodern mission has blurred the long-held relationships among artists, viewers and critics.
Although Mr. Koons is based in New York, he has spread his creative vision across the world, with pieces on display throughout North America and Europe. His groundbreaking style and international acclaim have earned him a spot as a leader in contemporary art for years to come.