Jeff Koons on the Power of Art History
In this month’s Art in America, in its "Muse" section, Jeff Koons contributes the essay, "Feeling." Obviously I am biased but I personally loved the parts where Koons credits art history for helping him understand the power of art.
"I grew up in Pennsylvania. My father was an interior decorator. He taught me about aesthetics, colors, textures: things that affect the way you feel. As a socially mobile family we had a wide range of experiences. Still, I never spent a lot of time in art museums, apart from some visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art with my aunt. When you’re young, art is just something you can do. I really didn’t become aware of art’s power to unite all the different disciplines until I was in college—the first day of college, more or less. I had a real art history course, and there I realized that art was referencing philosophy and sociology and physics and aesthetics—all the disciplines, effortlessly connected."
And later, towards the end of the essay, he writes:
"I like to think of art history as putting a needle through kernels of popcorn and stringing them together. That threading mirrors human biology, the way chains of DNA connect—the truest narrative."
(Jeff Koons, “Feeling,” Art in America, June/July 2014, 40-42.)