Jeff Koons Clowns Around the Whitney

Jeff Koons' monuments to vapidity are now on display at the Whitney.

Like high-fructose corn syrup, Koons's influence is so ubiquitous that railing against it can feel futile. Perhaps it's best to cue the artist himself and consider momentarily what he told Carl Swanson of New York magazine last year: "Removing judgment lets you feel, of course, freer, and you have acceptance of things, and everything's in play, and it lets you go further."

Location Info


Whitney Museum Of American Art

945 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10021

Category: Museums

Region: East 80s


"Jeff Koons: A Retrospective"
Whitney Museum Of American Art
945 Madison Ave.
Through October 19

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Those are the words of a quack doctor, a blow-dried evangelist, a Home Shopping Network pitchman. In clown speak, Koons's art is all whoopee cushion. Maybe for his next trick he'll blow that up and cast it in bronze.

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Thank god for the spot on review! I thought Koons was the second coming of the messiah the way he was crowned in the press. Starting with the clueless Smith/Saltz duo, all the ditto head art critics lay down like worshipful dominos at their knees- the same could be said for the chorus of  hosannas greeting that gigantic art farce- the Walker Sugar Baby.

What is it they speak and like an echo all agree- it must be so- all critical judgement is lost.

This is the first critique that had the guts to say- it was crap. Robert Hughes sadly is dead and Jed Perl, a lone hold-out is pilloried for being " conservative'. Since when is saying in ones learned opinion that Koons is crap makes someone somehow conservative. Do the price tags make it any better? Eli Broad (a richie rich  Koons groupie) is nothing more than a fancy real estate agent. Is nothing not art- including someones upchucked dinner outside of a restaurant?

It takes courage to go against the art critic lemmings- you don't get to go to the swellest parties. Good for you!

markie19 topcommenter


6 minutes ago


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Kerry Goad6 seconds ago via YouTube

LikeLike · · Subscribe on YouTube · SharePelican Brief TrailerPelican Brief TrailerDeleteShareLikeReplymarkie195 hours ago

Read new times uses my stories of the janbrewisms and then writes stories and gets me no help darrow k soll killed no suicide is Steve Lemons dirty or Matthew -google Markerry Soll Mc Night medium so i can get no law enforcement in most states they killed him not crazy 



Sorry CVF this is just plain wrong, however fun yr firecracker prose (you're like a left-wing Jed Perl w this endless string of artful insults). "Critical thinking" is a function of the viewer, not the work, which isn't blank so much as it delivers what could be called the poetry of our all-consuming, Disneyfied capitalist culture. He takes the messages of Mad Ave at face value, and sells them back to us as art-as-wholesome affirmations of American life. For instance, a pile of Pla-Doh is an emblem of endless human potential (in the way El Greco's detail of a trussed lamb in his "Jesus and the Money-Changers" prefigures the crucifixion). It's not really a good thing, your impulse there is right, but it does bring postmodernism to it's crashingly complacent conclusion.


You wrote: "[they] were designed to promote freedom and relieve audiences of "guilt and shame." As if we need JK to relieve us of guilt and shame. What, he's a priest? All I can say, as an artist who has been struggling to frame my thoughts on Koons and feeling that it is futile, you did it for me! Great writing! Thank you.

Lee Wright
Lee Wright

I loved reading this review. It saved me from having to explain why I would not be making the trip to the Whitney.