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: Popeye is a piece that makes me think about my father, and my father's generation. My father was born in 1918.

Popeye is about an image of, "I am what I am." Kind of a symbol of self-acceptance that you have to embrace who you are. Popeye has spinach. Spinach brings about his transcendence, and brings about his power. That's what art [is]. Art is our spinach. Art can bring about this transcendence and this empowerment and our life can expand and we can have a vastness that is what we're seeking.

In the Popeye sculpture, in place of the spinach it's a flowerpot. There's a live, growing plant there and that plant's a symbol of the type of energy and transcendence art can give us in our lives.

NARRATOR: Koons begins sculptures like this one with a CT scan of a smaller figure. If you’d like hear how he translates the scan into a full-size sculpture, please tap the button to continue.

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