What better way to commemorate the birth of the artist than with a handful of his balloon paintings (and perhaps more birthday party appropriate than say, one of his ten-foot-tall, one-ton stainless steel Balloon Dogs
). As a child living in York, Pennsylvania, Koons began his study of art by copying paintings of the Old Masters
, which he sold at his father’s furniture store. Far later in life and already on the fast track to a prodigious career (soon to be the self-proclaimed ‘most written about artist in the world’), Koons became a father himself. He sought to create toys in simple shapes for his children, and later, works inspired by them, like his painting from 1995, Party Hat
. We should all be wearing one today.