Jeff Koons: Popeye

Art Artwork from United States. Published by anonymous on Monday 25 August 2014.

Popeye image Olive Oyl image Elvis image Seal Walrus (Trashcans) image Seal Walrus (Chairs) image Popeye image

Year: 2003

The Popeye series is named after the cartoon sailor featured in some of its works, yet its true subject may be the artist’s strategic reexamination of the readymade.

This device had played a central role in Koons’s earlier bronze and steel casts of consumer products. In this series, rather than transforming a found object into a sculpture by conspicuously translating it from one material into another, he concealed this metamorphosis. The hyperreal cast-aluminum and spray-painted pool toys are stunning feats of artifice, exhibiting minutely rendered puckers along their seams. In some sculptures, Koons pairs these doppelgangers with actual mass-produced objects, such as trashcans and chairs. This contrast challenges and heightens the illusionism of Koons’s casts and raises complex questions about the nature of representation—something he also explores in the related paintings.