As Jeff Koons gears up for his first New York gallery show in three years, the iconic artist sat down with The Guardian to discuss his work, his inspirations and what he thinks of the current political climate.
Somewhat surprisingly, Koons also announced that he loves Lil Uzi Vert; the artist called the rapper “poetic” and revealed that he lifts weights to Uzi’s music.
Browse five of Koon’s best quotes from the piece below — on everything from Trump to still feeling like an outsider — then head to The Guardian for the full interview.
On Lil Uzi Vert
“Little Uzi is very poetic and he’s able to speak about a kind of microcosm that actually represents one community that can be looked at as a whole. I think it’s very pop; it’s very connecting. I just think it’s brilliant.” Then, The Guardian writes that “Koons adds that he enjoys lifting weights to the rapper’s music.”
On being an outsider
“I’m aware that I have a tremendous platform and an opportunity to experience transcendence through my work. I’m very conscious of that. And that is something that’s still very much a personal experience. So, I think I’ll always keep feeling somewhat like an outsider.”
“There’s a lot of chaos in the political scene, there’s tremendous division and polarities and it’s important now to realize what values we hold dear. I prefer when things are not as chaotic. And I feel very, very disappointed in the performance of the president.”
On criticisms of his work
“I know that I make the work that I make, that my own intellectual needs are met and that I can expand my parameters and hopefully I’m able to touch the interior life of the viewers who see my work. There are certain individuals that respond to it, and I’m sure there’s some people that don’t. For whatever reason, they close themselves down, or they just won’t open themselves up.”
On the meaning behind his sculptures
“My work deals with a sense of idealism. What I’ve found meaningful in life was when I came across things that helped me understand that by removing judgment and hierarchy, segregation, any form of disempowerment, you’re able to create a state where anxiety is removed and you’re able to experience transcendence.”
In other news, here’s how four female artists are fighting censorship and reclaiming nudes.
- Main & Featured Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images