American contemporary artist Jeff Koons is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the postwar era. Throughout his career, he has tested the boundaries between modern art and mass culture. It comes as no surprise that his highly unique artwork has helped influenced some of the creative greats of our time. i-D Magazine recently invited four of these creatives, fashion designers Jeremy Scott, Gareth Pugh, Walter van Beirendonck, and Bernhard Willhelm to chat with Koons about a wide range of topics. From his dueling match between Duchamp and Warhol to his interesting fascination with balloons, check out an excerpt below and be sure to head over to i-D for the full piece.
Like Jeff Koons, Jeremy Scott champions Middle America and all things trashy, garish and fabulous. Jeremy’s designs include pink Cadillac and jukebox dresses, French fries and hamburger knits and like Jeff, Jeremy has his own marble bust proudly on display in his home.
Did your parents bronze your baby shoes?
They did, but I don’t know where they are. They were lost.
Could this be where your obsession with shiny things started?
I don’t think it started there, I remember my mother used to have trophies in our house from horse riding shows she’d won. They were more shiny than the bronzed shoes. But the reason I like shiny things comes from my background growing up in Pennsylvania. People out there put mercury balls in their yards, which are reflective glass balls, and they sit them on bird baths. My rabbit was always a reference to that.
What are they called?
They’re yard decorations. It’s a form of yard sculpture. My rabbit makes reference to that, it makes reference to many other things, but definitely that sense of place.
When is a pipe not really a pipe?
When it doesn’t function. When it is made to look like something but doesn’t have the ability to function. I’m making some new cannon pieces. Some of them are toys so they don’t function. But then I’m making some authentic reproductions, from Civil War cannons, and they function.
What are they going to shoot?
Cannonballs. I’m making mortars that shoot cannonballs.
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