Friday, June 26, 2009

Jeff Koons in London

How disappointing.

The Serpentine Gallery in London has decided to delight us all with a major exhibition by American artist Jeff Koons - his first (and hopefully last) "major exhibition in a public gallery in England."

Koons' kitsch and banal creations represent all that was wrong about the culturally dishonest decade when the former Wall Street commodities broker first set himself up as a full-time artist. Like his art, the 1980's was a crass and selfish era during which the seeds of the current economic collapse were sown in the Anglo-American economies through the affirmation of unrestrained greed as a social good.

Koons has weathered the economic storms, creating such vulgar works as Michael Jackson and Bubbles, and continues to create works of factory art as shallow as the philosophy he espouses.

An hour and a half by train from central London, by contrast, lies the fair city of Bristol where, free of charge, members of the public can see an alternative exhibition to that offered by the Serpentine. Banksy Versus Bristol Museum offers a different vision of life and is well reviewed here.

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