Carracci Flower (2021)
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Jeff Koons, along with seven other leading international artists, were asked to create a print to celebrate Tate Modern’s 21st anniversary. A third of the profits from the sale of each print will benefit Tate.
With his print for Tate 21 Koons continues his dialogue with classical artists of the past, in this instance with the Italian painter Annibale Carracci (1560–1609), one the most admired artist of his time and a vital force in the creation of Baroque style.
Derived from one of Carracci's series of erotic etchings known as the Lascivie and delineated in silver foil is a partial image of a female nude figure and her companion. Intertwined with this line is a flowing, looping ribbon of celebratory blue foil, a colour similar in hue to the blue glass balls that adorn Koon's recent Gazing Balls. At times the silver foil catches the light from a certain directions, bringing the female figure into sharp relief, while at others the two foil lines combine with the dreamy background landscape to offer a more sensory abstract experience.
Jeffrey L. Koons (; born January 21, 1955) is an American artist recognized for his work dealing with popular culture and his sculptures depicting everyday objects, including balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror-finish surfaces. He lives and works in both New York City and his hometown of York, Pennsylvania. His works have sold for substantial sums, including at least two record auction prices for a work by a living artist: $58.4 million for Balloon Dog (Orange) in 2013 and $91.1 million for Rabbit in 2019.
Critics are sharply divided in their views of Koons. Some view his work as pioneering and of major art-historical importance. Others dismiss his work as kitsch, crass, and based on cynical self-merchandising. Koons has stated that there are no hidden meanings and critiques in his works.