Literary Analysis Of Jeff Koon's Michael Jackson And Bubbles

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In Jeff Koons’ piece Michael Jackson and Bubbles, from 1988, Michael Jackson and his pet monkey Bubbles, who was also his closest friend, are shown life-size sitting on a bed of flowers. This piece is a good example of the excesses that characterize Koons’ art in terms of size, color and theme. . The work was done as part of of Koons’ Banality series and serves as a good example of the kitsch aspect of much of Koons’s art in that it valorizes the garish and the sentimental. At the time, Jackson was at the high of his popularity, which Koons underscored by painting the figures in gold in order to make Jackson into a ‘god-like icon’ The white and gold coloring is reminiscent of Byzantine, Baroque and Rococo art; this hearkening back to past…show more content…
In doing so, he mocked the entire foundations on which the institution of art had been built. Traditionally, uniqueness and originality gave an artwork its value in symbolic and monetary terms, and was a concept preserved through modernist art criticism. In 1936, Walter Benjamin, a cultural theorist wrote an essay entitled The Work of Art in the Are of Mechanical Reproduction, which radically reworked this view, laying charges of elitism at the feet of key figures such as Greenberg. Benjamin claimed that reproduction through printing and other methods could achieve the democratization of art because of its lower commodity value and accessibility to the masses. Pop artists, minimalists, conceptual artists and performance artists adopted Benjamin’s ethos, interpreting his words through a diverse range of media and techniques that undermined concept of authenticity and value and distorted commoditization. Within Pop art and Feminist art of the 1970s and again in the 1990s, among certain artists, there was a surge of interest in the idea of collective authorship that further undermined traditional ideas of creativity and artistic genius that had been in place since the…show more content…
Some theorists and critics claim that postmodernism is outdated and they question the value of a movement sustained by cynicism, superficiality and nihilism. Some even argue for a return to the principles of modernism albeit in different forms. Edward Docx called this post-postmodern era the ‘Age of Authenticity’, characterized by a revival of authenticity and craftsmanship over style and concept. Other theorists include ‘alter modernism’, which is Nicolas Bourriaud’s term for the ‘non-stop communication and globalization’ culture of today, and ‘pseudo-modernism’ , a term by Alan Kirby, who claims there has been a shift from audience spectatorship to a more active yet trivial participation, evident in reality TV voting

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