Jeff Koons | Qatar Museum Opens Lost In America at Al Riwaq
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Jeff Koons | Qatar Museum Opens Lost In America at Al Riwaq

November 29, 2021 Share

Jeff Koons Exhibition On View 21st November 2021 to 31st March 2022 

Gigantic balloon dogs, rows of vacuum cleaners, the colourful, the commonplace, the shiny and ephemeral – American artist Jeff Koons makes ‘poor’ objects into something rich people desire. 

On 21 November 2021, Qatar Museums opened to the public a debut Jeff Koons: Lost in America exhibit at the QM Gallery Al Riwaq. The expansive exhibition space located is located at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park. On view through 31 March 2022 and organised by renowned curator Massimiliano Gioni.

This is Koons’ first exhibition in the Gulf region.

Jeff Koons
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Jeff Koons is one of the most famous contemporary artists in the world. With his playful mind, he uses the essence of everyday objects and transforms them into a world of wonder.

The idea of reflection really comes from the ability to shine. If we look at different theologies around the world you can see that we are really based on the concept of light – we are theological beings, we come from nature and are dependant on light and ultimately turn to shine. 

Not only does he use the ideology of light but that of reflection. There are metaphysics that are taking place and reflections that occur in slightly different times than the right here and now – it is much slower in a reflection. This is the theory that American artist Jeff Koons believes has a hold on us all.

From reflective surfaces like pots and pans to balloons, mirrors, porcelain,  jewels, crystals, floral and bubbles, this contemporary pop artist’s extremely polished synthetic timeless art pieces is what makes him one of the most well-known artists to date.

Jeff Koons
Koons unveils his seated ballerina inflatable sculpture at New York’s Rockefeller Center in May 2017. (Mike Coppola/Getty)

Born in suburban York, Pennsylvania, Koons grew up with a constant fascination with the world around him. His father, Henry Koons was the leading interior decorator in York which gave him a lot of insight into how people who aspired to be wealthy decorated their homes. Or how the middle-class people decorated their homes and took that ideology in.

It gave him an inside look into the idea of display.

Now, his Lost in America exhibition presents a portrait of American culture as seen through Koons’ autobiography. 

The exhibition features more than sixty artworks drawn from Koons’ four-decades-long career and is divided into 16 galleries, each introduced by the artist, emphasising his memories, influences and fascination with American visual culture. 

Jeff Koons
Pop-star: Jeff Koons at the Newport Street Gallery in front of Play-Doh (2014), an enlarged aluminium reconstruction of his son’s first attempt at sculpture / Matt Writtle.

Conceived as an expansive self-portrait, Lost in America also includes sculptures and paintings with mesmerising, mirrored surfaces that begs the question: what art lies within us?

The 66-year-old expressed how during the 1950s and 1960s, his love for brightly coloured pop images on a cereal box really drew him in.

However, Koons would sexualise this experience and recreate delight in things we take for granted. From this, he used consumerist products to create masterpieces never seen before.

Today, Koons is widely known for his iconic sculptures Rabbit and Balloon Dog as well as the monumental floral sculpture Puppy (1992), shown at Rockefeller Center and permanently installed at the Guggenheim Bilbao

Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Orange) (1994 – 2000), at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2020 | Image courtesy of Elad Sarig.

His Balloon Dog (1994-2000) sculptures, of which there are five – in blue, magenta, yellow, orange and red – are some of the most recognisable artworks in the world. As well as being truly memorable, they’re also worth an absolute fortune. 

In 2013 Koons’ orange Balloon Dog sold for $58.4 million at Christie’s and set a new record for a living artist. 

Today his net worth stands at $400 million.

You can visit the exhibition at Qatar Museums Gallery – Al Riwaq between 9 am and 7 pm from Saturday to Thursday, and between 1.30 pm and 7 pm on Fridays.

For more information on Jeff Koons’ exhibit: Lost In America, visit the galleries website here.

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