Jeff Koons (b.1955) Born 1955 in York, Pennsylvania, USA, Jeff Koons is one the most established and prominent artists in the contemporary art world. In his hands, familiar and mundane items transcend their core functionality to become icons manifesting the essence of American popular culture. Jeff Koons embodies Neo-Pop, a 1980’s movement that revered earlier pop artists, Andy Warhol mainly, for inspiration. In the true Pop Art tradition, his work celebrates a kitsch mass produced aesthetic, transforming it into something exclusive and of significant value. This tongue-in-cheek paradox has formed the basis of Koons’ success. Indeed, through an ingenious marketing strategy, rather than risking offence to the seasoned art collector circuit, Koons chose to challenge them to revise their aesthetics expectations. Also distancing himself from the modernist ideal of the ‘misunderstood visionary’ artist, Jeff Koons is a self-proclaimed crowd-pleaser, and avid self-promoter. Jeff Koons’ ‘Balloon Dog’ sculptures, a series he began in the mid-1990s, are arguably amongst his best-known artworks. Made from precision-engineered mirror-polished stainless steel and finished with a transparent coating, they transpose a transient childhood memory into a permanent form weighted with adult nostalgia. Museum solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, the Museo archeologico nazionale in Napoli, the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, the Helsinki City Art Museum, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, MoMA in New York, Château de Versailles in France, the Whitney Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Beyeler Museum in Basel, Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Koons received the BZ Cultural Award from the City of Berlin in 2000 and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 2001. He was named a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor in 2002 and then promoted to Officier in 2007. He was given the 2008 Wollaston Award from the Royal Academy of Arts in London. In 2013 he received the U.S. State Department's Medal of Arts and 2017 he accepted the annual Honorary Membership Award for Outstanding Contribution to Visual Culture from the Edgar Wind Society, University of Oxford.