Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1955. His passion for art led him to pursue formal education in the field. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1976, Koons received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Today, he resides and works in New York City.

Koons made his grand entry into the art world with his first solo exhibition in 1980. This debut marked the beginning of a series of exhibitions in major galleries and institutions worldwide.

One of the pinnacles of Koons’s career was his major retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, titled “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective,” which ran from June 27 to October 19, 2014. This exhibition then traveled to the Centre Pompidou in Paris (November 26, 2014 – April 27, 2015) and the Guggenheim Bilbao (June 9 – September 27, 2015).

Koons’s work continues to captivate audiences globally. Recent exhibitions include:

  • Shine at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence
  • Jeff Koons: Lost in America at QM Gallery ALRIWAQ in Doha
  • Jeff Koons: Apollo at the Slaughterhouse in Hydra, Greece
  • Dugong, 2020-2022, unveiled on November 1, 2023, along the Corniche in Al Masrah Park, Doha, Qatar

Jeff Koons is widely renowned for his iconic sculptures such as Rabbit and Balloon Dog. His monumental floral sculpture Puppy (1992) was showcased at Rockefeller Center and has a permanent installation at the Guggenheim Bilbao. Another floral masterpiece, Split-Rocker (2000), has been displayed at prestigious venues like the Papal Palace in Avignon, Château de Versailles, Fondation Beyeler in Basel, and most recently, Rockefeller Center in 2014.

Jeff Koons has received numerous accolades throughout his career:

  • Honorary Degrees from The Corcoran, Washington, D.C. (2002), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois (2008), and York College of Pennsylvania (2017)
  • Distinguished Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
  • Officier de la Legion d’Honneur by President Jacques Chirac
  • State Department’s Medal of the Arts by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • U.S. Consulate General’s Award for Cultural Diplomacy in Florence

In 2017, Koons was appointed the first Artist-in-Residence at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and made an Honorary Member of the University of Oxford’s Edgar Wind Society for his outstanding contribution to visual culture.

Beyond his art, Koons is dedicated to philanthropy. A board member of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) since 2002, he co-founded the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute with ICMEC to combat global issues of child abduction and exploitation.

Jeff Koons’s remarkable career and contributions to both art and society underscore his legacy as one of the most innovative and influential artists of his generation.

Split Rocker, 2013

Jeff Koons Split Rocker