Jeff Koons: A Retrospective
Audio Guide Playlist

This audio guide features commentary by artist Jeff Koons, Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney's Nancy and Steve Crown Family Curator and Associate Director of Programs, Michelle Kuo, editor of Artforum magazine, and Amy Adler, the Emily Kempin Professor at New York University Law School.

JEFF KOONS: I think the Gazing Ball series, being at the entrance of the exhibition, but actually being the last body of work being shown, it's really like the beginning and the end.

NARRATOR: Jeff Koons.

JK: The gazing ball really represents to me my childhood, my background of experiencing the world and looking at the world.

I grew up in Pennsylvania and people would put gazing balls in their front yard. Gazing balls are a yard ornament, but people put them there for their neighbors. It's really an act of generosity.

These works, which if you look at the mailbox piece, the mailbox is defining a place. It's a location, it's mail, and the ball is defining a place. Because a gazing ball reflects in 360 degrees, so it's about here, and it's this enheightenment of the senses, a reflection and you become affirmed, the viewer looking at it. You see yourself.

It's about the beholder's share, that the art takes place inside the viewer. That art needs you. Art is about your transcendence. That's what art is. It's not about an object having some special power. Certain objects can be great transponders and they can motivate you and put you in a position for experience, but the art is your transcendence.

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