Jeff Koons

  • Aired:  07/31/12
  •  | Views: 15,252

American artist Jeff Koons explains his famous sculpture, "Blue Balloon Dog," the museumgoer's experience, and the importance of bringing art to underserved children. (6:11)

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A RENOWNED AMERICAN SCULPTOR OF COMMON OBJECTS LIKE BALLOON ANIMALS,

THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE BIRTHDAY CLOWN.

PLEASE WELCOME JEFF KOONS.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

HEY MR. KOONS.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

>> STEPHEN, GREAT TO BE HERE.

>> Stephen: NOW, SIR, YOU'RE ONE OF THOSE ART GUYS, RIGHT?

YOU DO ART.

>> I'M AN ARTIST.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

DO YOU LIKE ART?

>> I LIKE ART.

AND, STEPHEN, THE REASON I LIKE IT, I LIKE THE WAY IT MAKES ME FEEL.

>> Stephen: IT MAKES YOU FEEL RICH, MAN.

[LAUGHTER]

CAN WE SHOW SOME OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF YOUR ART?

IS IT OKAY IF WE ART IT?

JIM, LET'S GET SOME ART GOING ON HERE.

WHAT IS THIS?

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT HERE?

>> THIS IS CALLED A ONE-BALL TOTAL EQUILIBRIUM TANK.

THAT'S WHAT IT IS.

>> Stephen: YOU GET PAID BIG MONEY FOR THIS?

>> AT THE TIME I SOLD THAT FOR ABOUT $3,000.

>> Stephen: $3,000 YOU GET FOR THAT.

MY KIDS DO THAT, THEY GET GROUNDED.

>> THIS IS JUST A SIMILAR BALANCE OF AN ULTIMATE STATE OF BEING.

IT'S AN EQUILIBRIUM.

EVERYTHING IS PERFECT.

IT'S LIKE BEING IN THE WOMB.

>> Stephen: YOU KNOW HOW BABIES ARE MADE, RIGHT?

I THINK YOU DO BECAUSE I'VE SEEN SOME OF YOUR ART, AND YOU DEFINITELY KNOW HOW BABIES ARE MADE.

>> LET'S LOOK AT THE NEXT ONE.

THIS IS ONE OF YOUR MOST FAMOUS ONES HERE.

YOU GOT THIS, EVERYONE KNOWS THIS.

THIS IS THE BALLOON PUPPIES.

>> BALLOON DOG.

>> Stephen: THAT'S HUGE.

IT'S TEN FEET MADE OF STAINLESS STEEL.

>> IT'S LIKE A BE LOON YOU WOULD BLOW UP AND TWIST, A SMALL

THING, MAYBE A CHILD'S BIRTHDAY PARTY.

BUT IT BECOMES A LITTLE MYTHIC HERE.

IT'S LIKE A TROJAN HORSE.

EVEN... IT'S A DOG.

IT BECOMES A LITTLE EQUESTRIAN THERE.

>> Stephen: IS THERE SOMETHING INSIDE?

IT'S A TROJAN HORSE.

IS IT FULL OF GREEK GUYS IN THERE.

>> YOU CAN FEEL THERE'S INFORMATION INSIDE.

THERE'S A CERTAIN DARKNESS OR DEPTH IN THERE.

>> Stephen: TELL YOU WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOUR WORK.

JIMMY, SHOW THE NEXT ONE, TOO.

OKAY.

THIS ONE, A LOT OF THEM ARE SHINY, YOU KNOW.

A LOT OF THEM ARE SHINY.

SO WHEN I LOOK AT THEM, I CAN SEE ME, AND THEN I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN IT.

YOU KNOW?

WHY SO MUCH SHININESS?

>> FOR THAT REASON.

REALLY JUST FOR AFFIRMATION, TO AFFIRM THE VIEWER.

>> Stephen: I AM HERE.

>> AND IT'S ABOUT YOU.

IT'S ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE.

YOU KNOW.

>> Stephen: SO THE ART IS ABOUT ME?

AM I HELPING TO MAKE THE ART?

>> YOU ARE BECAUSE...

>> WELL, THIS THING WENT FOR $23 MILLION.

WHERE'S MY CUT?

>> YOU KNOW, THE ART HAPPENS INSIDE THE VIEWER.

THE ART ISN'T IN THE OBJECT.

IF YOU GO TO A MUSEUM AND YOU LOOK AT A VAN GOGH OR YOU LOOKED AT A PICASSO OR YOU LOOK AT A

PIECE LIKE THIS, THE ART IS NOT THERE.

THE ART HAPPENS INSIDE YOU, THE VIEWER.

AND THE ART IS A SENSE OF YOUR OWN POTENTIAL AS A PERSON.

AND THAT'S WHERE THE ART IS.

THESE ARE JUST KIND OF TRANSPONDERS.

THEY JUST TRIGGER THAT INFORMATION WITHIN YOU.

>> IF ART HAPPENS IN A WOOD AND NO ONE IS THERE TO SEE IT...

[LAUGHTER]

WAS IT BEAUTIFUL?

>> YOU WOULDN'T KNOW UNLESS YOU WERE THERE TO SEE IT.

BUT IT HAPPENS.

EVEN YOURSELF, YOU CAN LOOK AT SOMETHING AND YOU CAN, YOU KNOWER KIND OF STUDY SOMETHING

AND LOOK AT IT FOR YEARS.

THEN ONE DAY YOU CAN JUSTIFIED THE BEAUTY IN SOMETHING.

IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER FROM THAT MOMENT.

BUT YOU DON'T ALWAYS KNOW WHEN IT WILL PRESENT ITSELF.

BUT IT HAPPENS IN YOU.

>> NOW, YOU'RE HOPING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN IN OTHER PEOPLE,

TOO, BECAUSE YOU'RE SUPPORTING A PROJECT CALLED STUDIO IN A SCHOOL.

OKAY, WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR THE KIDS IN THESE SCHOOLS?

>> WELL, STUDIO IN THE SCHOOL BRINGS ART TO REALLY UNDERSERVED CHILDREN.

ART EDUCATION HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT OF A LOT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, AGNES

GUNN STARTED STUDIO IN THE SCHOOL ABOUT 35 YEARS AGO.

AND SHE BRINGS PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS INTO NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS, IT'S TOUCHING ABOUT

35,000 CHILDREN A YEAR.

AND IT'S BRINGING ART INTO THEIR LIVES.

>> LET'S LOOK AT SOME OF THE ART THE KIDS ARE DOING RIGHT HERE.

THIS IS... THAT'S BEAUTIFUL.

THIS IS ONE OF THE STUDENTS FROM STUDIO IN A SCHOOL.

CAN YOU DRAW LIKE THAT?

A LOT OF YOUR STUFF ISN'T DRAWN LIKE THAT.

A LOT OF STUFF IS STUFF THAT'S NOT DRAWN.

>> YOU KNOW, IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DRAWING.

EACH STUDENT IS REALLY TALENTED AND IT'S FANTASTIC.

YOU KNOW, I CAN DRAW.

I ALWAYS DREW AS A CHILD AND I ALWAYS STUDIED DRAWING AND PAINTING AND I WOULD WIN AWARDS

FOR MY SKILLS.

>> Stephen: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BRAG.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BRAG.

WE'RE ALREADY IMPRESSED WITH YOU, JEFF.

>> SO I CONTROL I.

BUT I TEND... I WENT KIND OF A ROUTE FOLLOWING MARCELL DUCHAMPS.

>> WHO IS THAT GUY?

>> AN ARTIST WHO IS GIVEN CREDIT FOR THE READY-MADE, JUST WORKING

WITH THINGS THAT ALREADY EXIST IN THIS WORLD AND DISPLAYING THEM.

>> Stephen: SO SOMETHING SOMEBODY ELSE ALREADY MADE AND YOU SAY THAT'S ART?

>> IT'S CREATING A CONTEXT,

PLACING SOMETHING IN A CONTEXT.

>> Stephen: WHY SO MANY BALLOON DOGS?

DID A CLOWN TAKE IT FROM YOU AS A CHILD OR SOMETHING?

ARE YOU TRYING TO GET IT BACK SO IT'S PERMANENT NOW?

>> ACTUALLY, I'VE ALWAYS ENJOYED BALLOON ANIMALS BECAUSE THEY'RE LIKE US.

WE'RE BALLOONS.

YOU TAKE A BREATH AND YOU INHALE AND IT'S OPTIMISM AND YOU EXHALE.

IT'S KIND OF A SIMPLE AS THAT.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Stephen: WELL, THANKS FOR CHEERING US UP, JEFF.

JEFF, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

JEFF KOONS, EVERYBODY.

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