Jeff Koons, Ashmolean, review: gauche, unfashionable, and impossible to take your eyes off

Ushering in Banality 
Ushering in Banality  Credit: Jeff Koons

Whatever you make of Jeff Koons, there’s no denying that the man still has blockbuster appeal. This show of 17 sculptures and paintings at the Ashmolean in Oxford is already the fastest-selling exhibition in the museum’s history. 

And yet these days, admiring Koons – until recently the world’s most expensive living artist – somehow feels a little gauche. 

The heir to both the Surrealists and America’s Pop artists of the Sixties, he is best known for his stainless-steel sculptures of balloon animals and trinkets reproduced on an enormous scale. He was the quintessential artist of the Eighties – that Master-of-the-Universe epoch of greed and self-confidence. But today, in an era of uncertainty...

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