Jeffrey "Jeff" Koons (born January 21, 1955)
Jeff Koons is an American artist known for his reproductions of banal objects—such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces.
As a teenager he revered Salvador Dalí, to the extent that he visited him at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Koons studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago . After college, he worked on Wall Street as a commodities broker while establishing himself as an artist. He gained recognition in the 1980s and subsequently set up a factory-like studio in a SoHo loft in New York. It was staffed with over 30 assistants, each assigned to a different aspect of producing his work—in a similar mode as Andy Warhol's Factory (notable because all of his work is produced using a method known as Art fabrication
One of his largest works is “Puppy,” a 43 foot topiary sculpture of a dog made out of flowers. It is currently outside the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. In 2008, Koons had his first retrospective at the palace of Versailles in France.
Koons' work has sold for substantial sums of money including at least one world record auction price for a work by a living artist. The largest sum known to be paid for a work by Koons is Balloon flower (Magenta) which was sold at Christie's London, in for $25,765,204. Critics are sharply divided in their views of Koons. Some view his work as pioneering and of major art-historical importance. Others have dismissed his work as kitsch