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Artist Jeff Koons visits GSD, breathes new life into world-famous work

Internationally recognized artist Jeff Koons is not one to shy away from loud colors, enormous scale, or controversial subject matter in his work. Just look to his series of massive sculptures in the form of metallic balloon animals as evidence. At his February 7 lecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, however, Koons argued that his art is not meant to be about the structures themselves but rather about the experience imparted to the viewer.

“The object, when you confront it, is only a transponder,” Koons told the audience of students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public. “It’s only something to excite you about your own human potential. At the end, that’s what I care about.”

Artist Jeff Koons speaks at the GSD, Tuesday, February 7, 2017.
Mohsen Mostafavi and Jeff Koons at the GSD, Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Koons visited the GSD as part of the Rouse Visiting Artist Program. His talk included a panel discussion with Robin Kelsey, dean of arts and humanities at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard GSD and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design.

Read more about Koons's lecture at the GSD in the Harvard Gazette.