Jeff Koons is an American conceptual artist born in 1955. Koons studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art. His major break came in the 1980s, when he received attention for his ready-mades: vacuum cleaners that he displayed in cases.
Koons’ work is characterized by sculptures based on toys and utility objects that he enlarges and fashions out of entirely different materials than the originals. Joy, childishness and desire are common elements of his work, and his series have names such as Banality, Made in Heaven, Easyfun and Celebration. Jeff Koons was married to the Italian porn star Ilona Staller (Cicciolina) from 1991 to 1992, and she appears in many of his photographs and artworks.
Today, Koons is thought to be one of the world’s best-paid living artists. His works have fetched high prices at art auctions. At a Christie’s auction in November 2013, an orange balloon dog sculpture sold for just over SEK 390 million.