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Sincerity and irony examined through the work of Jeff Koons

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The artwork of Jeff Koons had always seemed intentionally ironic to me. But after re-evaluating his work, I find sincerity. My initial assumption of Koons’s use of irony formed a powerful impression on my understanding of the art world. Further research into Koons’s life and work revealed to me a different perspective, one that has impacted the way I approach my own work and instructional practice. Examining two works by Koons, I show how St John the Baptist could be interpreted as ironic, but the more recent Liberty Bell demonstrates deeper complexity and vindicates the sincerity that Koons claimed all along. Perhaps irony is not always the favourable means of communicating, and sincerity can be used successfully.
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Keywords: Jeff Koons; art appreciation; art student; irony; sincerity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Azusa Pacific University

Publication date: August 24, 2011

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  • The scope of the journal is broad and is aimed at facilitating a wide spectrum of perspectives. It is essentially a medium for engaging the rich and multifaceted process of learning and teaching art that takes place in the classroom, studio, and beyond. However, the seriousness of journal is not out weighed by making critical topics accessible and readable to a large constituency of readers. It is a forum to be reflective on the process of creating and teaching art, embrace teaching art in a variety of contexts, engage art appreciation experiences, share scholarship in teaching artistry, and celebrate the rich traditions of art making and teaching.
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