|Net Worth:||$400 Million|
|Date of Birth:||January 21, 1955 (68 years old)|
|Profession:||Artist, Contemporary artist, Actor|
|Nationality:||United States of America|
What is Jeff Koons’ Net Worth?
Jeff Koons is an American artist who has a net worth of $400 million. Jeff Koons is associated with the neo-pop art movement. He is best known for his vibrant metallic sculptures of commonplace objects like balloon animals. A number of records for the most expensive works sold at auction by a living artist belong to Koons, whose works have sold for significant sums of money.
Jeff Koons was born on January 21, 1955, in York, Pennsylvania. Early in his life, he developed a deep love of art and began to imitate old master paintings. Famous surrealist Salvador Dal was visited by Koons in New York City while he was a youngster.
He pursued higher education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Koons met and was influenced by the artist Ed Paschke at the latter school; Paschke would subsequently hire Koons as a studio assistant.
Koons relocated to New York City after finishing college in order to pursue his career as a professional artist. He was employed during this time at the Museum of Modern Art’s membership department.
When Koons started working as a commodities dealer on Wall Street in 1980, he took a step away from the art world. He held positions at Smith Barney, First Investors Corporation, and Clayton Brokerage Company.
Being a member of a new generation of artists connected to the pop art movement, Koons gained notoriety in the middle of the 1980s. He opened a studio in SoHo that resembled a factory, with more than 30 employees, and was based on Andy Warhol’s renowned Factory.
Through his numerous series of sculptures featuring commonplace items like basketballs and vacuum cleaners, Koons rose to fame. He produced “Rabbit,” one of his most well-known works, in 1986. It consists of three similar stainless-steel sculptures that resemble bunny balloon animals.
Also in that year, Koons developed his “Luxury and Degradation” series, a group of works focused on alcohol and related accouterments.
Koons debuted his “Banality” series in 1988. Michael Jackson and Bubbles, which consists of three life-size gold-leaf-plated porcelain figurines of the singer and his pet chimpanzee, is the most well-known piece in the series.
After that, Koons started his contentious “Made in Heaven” series, in which he and his ex-wife Ilona Staller are shown in explicit sexual postures. In an effort to win back the public after the backlash from this series, Koons produced the massive topiary sculpture “Puppy.”
The “Celebration” series, which consists of enormous sculptures and paintings of balloon animals, jewels, and other sparkling objects, was later produced by him. Other well-known series by Koons include “Tulips,” “Easyfun,” “Popeye,” and “Hulk Elvis.”
His second sculpture made of topiaries was the gigantic “Split-Rocker.” “Metallic Venus,” “Ballerinas,” and oil paintings of life-size ancient sculptures are only a few of the works in Jeff Koons’ “Antiquity” series, which he started in 2009.
The works of Jeff Koons, who is well-known in both North America and Europe for his collecting, continue to hold a high value in the art market and have been sold for astronomical prices at auction. A sculpture by Jeff Koons titled “Michael Jackson with Bubbles” fetched $5.6 million at auction in 2001.
He sold “Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold)” later for $23.6 million. Both “Rabbit” and “Balloon Dog (Orange),” which sold for $91.1 million and $58.4 million respectively in 2013 and 2019, were among Koons’ most expensive works. The latter work set a new benchmark for the most costly piece created by a living artist and sold at auction.
Koons has worked as a curator for his previous projects. He organized an exhibition of works by Ed Paschke at the Gagosian Gallery in New York in 2009, and he organized a display of items from billionaire Dakis Joannou’s personal collection at the New Museum in 2010.
Moreover, Koons has worked with a variety of different artists, such as Martin Kippenberger and Lady Gaga. For the latter, he created the “ARTPOP” album cover for her third studio album. Koons collaborated with Louis Vuitton, a high-end fashion house, to create a line of purses and backpacks.
Some have attacked Koons and his work for embodying crass commercialism through kitsch aesthetics and shameless self-promotion, while others have praised him as a prominent artist of the 20th century.
Because of his extensive use of preexisting pictures, Koons has also been accused of copyright violation on multiple occasions. He has lost a lot of those legal battles.
Living Artist with the Highest Price
Due to the previously mentioned $58.4 million sale of Balloon Dog, Jeff Koons held the title of most expensive living artist from 2013 to 2018. (Orange). A painting by David Hockney titled “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two People)” sold for $90.3 million in November 2018, shattering the previous record.
When Robert R. Mnuchin, the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, an art dealer and financier, sold Koons’ 1986 stainless steel rabbit at auction to a private customer for $91.1 million in May 2019, Koons reclaimed his title.
The one-of-three bunny, which was included in the estate sale of the late magazine publisher S.I. Newhouse, is still the only one still in private possession.
Koons had a daughter called Shannon Rodgers while he was a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and he gave her up for adoption. Eventually, in 1991, he wed Ilona Staller, an Italian politician and porn star. Before being divorced in 1994 over Koons’ alleged mistreatment of Staller, the couple had a son they called Ludwig.
Following this, Koons wed Justine Wheeler, a fellow artist, with whom he has six children. Together, they established the international nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child sexual exploitation, the ICMEC Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy, in 2007.
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