Roa Forster, 1
Valentina Roa Forster
Prof. Omar Figueras
December 11, 2017
From the Inside
Art is a form of communicating to a public without the necessity of using words. An artist is capable of expressing his or her own feelings through a brushstroke, through a carving of an old, rusty wood, through the click of a camera. Each one of them creates his or her own way of expressing their mind; however, the journey to get there is what builds their identity as an artist. According to an article from the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Koons is an American artist that studied in the Maryland Institute College of Art as well as in the Art Institute of Chicago (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia).
Later on, in 1977, he moved to New York where he lives and works to this day. The article states, “His work may be characterized as an updated postmodern synthesis of surrealism, Dada, pop art and good old-fashioned American kitsch.” (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia). Koons’s artwork falls into the philosophical movement of postmodernism. According to the article in the Britannica Encyclopedia, “… postmodernists claim that … the meaning of a word is not a static thing in the world or even an idea in the mind but rather a range of contrasts and differences with the meanings of other words.” (Duignan). In relation to this postmodernist aspect, Jeff Koons lets the viewer define what each artwork means for him or her. Koon intends for his art to happen inside of his viewers; therefore, his pieces aim to make a connection with each spectator on a deeper sense.
In his collection Gazing Balls, Koons displays a series of bright, white plaster sculptures. Each one of these sculptures holds an intense blue gazing ball. Each ball is a medium-sized perfectly smoothed out sphere, as shiny as a mirror were the spectator can see him or herself staring at the artwork and, this way, he or she becomes an actual part of the display. The plaster sculptures consist mainly of classical crisp white busts. He even includes a replica of the Roman Balverde Torso, a sculpture based on a white, defined torso of a nude male. By choosing this type of replica statues, as Koons mentions in a short film from Kanopy, he adds a touch of his love for art history to the collection (Howard and Wald).
On the other hand, the artist added an awareness of the beauty of the everyday by choosing to place the gazing balls in the sculptures. Koons picked this ready-made object because they are in almost everyone’s front yard; therefore, he is able to have his spectators personally connect with the exhibition (Howard and Wald). This collection is a way for him to help the viewers relate their own lives to the actual artwork. In the short film, Koons is interviewed about this specific collection; he states, “It keeps art accessible. […] it is in everybody’s front yard, it is around us all the time because the art happens inside us.” (Howard and Wald). Entering into the room of the Gazing...