Since his emergence in the 1980s, Jeff Koons has blended the concerns and methods of Pop, Conceptual, and appropriation art with craft-making and popular culture to create his own unique iconography, often controversial and always engaging. His production explores contemporary ideas of pleasure, celebrity, media, commerce, and fame.
Working with seductive commercial materials (such as the high chromium stainless steel of his Balloon sculptures), shifts of scale, and an elaborate studio system involving many technicians, Koons turns banal objects into high art icons. His production borrows widely from art-historical techniques and styles, and although often seen as ironic or tongue-in-cheek, Koons insists his practice is earnest and optimistic.
Girl with Lobster is a limited-edition print by Jeff Koons that features Gretchen Mol, the star of The Notorious Bettie Page, beside the iconic lobster inflatable with a reflective silver line drawing in the foreground that for Koons is a reference for fertility, Mother Nature, and the painting The Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet.
The result is a combination of striking visuals presented in a formal portrait composition, at once fetishistic and historical, all in one fabulously detailed work. The ready-made lobster, imbued with art-historical references to Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamp, is placed into a context with a pin-up model and the result is a commentary on contemporary culture, often bordering between being playful and erotic, at the same time innocent and vulgar.
“I believe in advertisement and media completely. My art and my personal life are based in it.„