Jeff Koons

Bourgeois Bust - Jeff and Ilona (1991)

About this artwork

'Bourgeois Bust' was originally created for the 'Made in Heaven' exhibition, in which Jeff Koons explored the concept of love in relation to his own marriage to porn star Ilona Staller. Represented as a marble portrait bust, the couple are depicted within a traditional Baroque style that drew its inspiration from antique classical sculpture. With her plaited hair and string of pearls, Staller appears like Venus, the Greek goddess of love. Declaring sensationally "We’ve become God", their spiritual and physical union seemingly elevates the pair to a higher realm of idealised existence and ecstasy.

  • title: Bourgeois Bust - Jeff and Ilona
  • accession number: AR00597
  • artist: Jeff KoonsAmerican (born 1955)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Sculpture
  • date created: 1991
  • measurements: 119.00 x 74.50 x 58.00 cm (displayed: 195.00 x 74.50 x 58.00 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
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Jeff Koons

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.