Winter Bears (1988)
About this artwork
'Winter Bears' is one of a series of sculptures Koons produced for an exhibition entitled ‘Banality’ in 1988. The sculpture was fabricated by skilled craftsmen who employed the same techniques used to produce Rococo ceramics and Bavarian sculptural woodcarvings. The artist’s subject matter derived from everyday experience and drew upon cult images that are recognisable and comforting. Based upon a child’s miniature ornament, 'Winter Bears' is the most obviously sentimental of the series. However, with its highly polished surface, bold colours and oversized scale, the sculpture is also strangely overbearing, serving to challenge conventional preconceptions of style and taste.
- title: Winter Bears
- accession number: AR00494
- artist: Jeff KoonsAmerican (born 1955)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Sculpture
- materials: Polychromed wood
- date created: 1988
- measurements: 124.50 x 117.00 x 45.00 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © JEFF KOONS
Koons was born in Pennsylvania. Before becoming an artist he worked as a successful commodities broker on Wall Street. In Koons's early work he displayed everyday items such as vacuum cleaners and basketballs in glass cases, making them both aesthetic objects and social icons. In so doing, the artist raises questions of consumerism and taste. He has also exhibited kitsch items made on an enlarged scale from materials such as porcelain and polychromed wood. Both Koons himself and the everyday items in his work become commodities. The artist himself featured in a number of sexually explicit photographs and sculptures.