The Explicit Jeff Koons, Contemporary Art for the Love of the Obamas & Top Artissima Booths This Year

November 2, 2015

If I were to name one thing in life that is as sure to happen as death, it would be this: sex sells. It is an indisputable fact, and when it comes to its representation in the arts, that fact comes to be reaffirmed time and time again. Naked bodies and often not-so-subtle sexual innuendos will always be able to grab attention, and if these sexual artworks also happen to cross that infamous line between erotica and porn - do we really care? Probably not, as long as we keep it hidden from our kids and bosses. Taboo or not at a given moment, sex and sexuality will forever remain one of the crucial aspects of humanity, and as such, it will continue to be one of the biggest sources of inspiration and, well, pleasure.

All this talk because last week we revisited Jeff Koons’ Made in Heaven series, as explicit today as it was back in the 1990s. These images, together with the Balloon Dogs, turned him into a superstar, even though they were downright pornographic and, many would argue, quite tasteless. But, if this were a rock-paper-scissors situation, money would definitely cover a word from an art critic.

In other highlights, we have Ai Weiwei flooded with Lego, after the company refused to send him the toys. Many arts institutions around the world join the initiative to gather as many bricks as the artist needs, and by now, he’s probably got much more than that. We also took a look at an interesting story about how Barak and Michelle Obama turned the White House into a sort of a contemporary art gallery over the years, and reviewed the 10 most expensive art pieces by KAWS ever sold at auctions. Last but not least, we recommended 10 booths you should not miss when in Turin for the occasion of Artissima 2015.

Scroll down to check out the highlights of the week between October 26th and November 1st.

The Priciest KAWS Pieces at Auctions

Brian Donnelly aka KAWS is currently one of the leading figures when pop art is concerned. Drawing his inspiration from the popular culture iconography, KAWS has developed a unique style which blurs the lines between fine arts, illustration, and commercials. He is also one of the artists who has proved the art skeptics wrong when it comes to the value of vinyl toys, showing that their place is not to be underestimated in the luxury art market. And while we’re talking about the art market you must be interested to see how successful are KAWS’ pieces at the auctions. Therefore, we bring you the list of 10 most expensive KAWS’ pieces, finishing our list with the no.1. Can you guess what it is? I’ll give you a hint. The most expensive piece is also one of the artist’s most recognizable ones.

See the complete list in 10 Most Expensive KAWS Art Pieces at Auctions

10 Artissima Booths in the Spotlight

As many as 207 galleries from 31 countries found their special place within the beautiful venue that is the Oval, built for the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin. The occasion? Artissima, one of Europe’s biggest art fairs, coming back this year for its 22nd edition. With the richest and most extensive program to date, the fair continues its dedicated journey under the guidance of Sarah Cosulich, who is curating Artissima for the fourth time this year. Divided into two sections, the exhibitors will look to present the very best among the emerging and established contemporary artists and artworks. A total of 133 most prominent international galleries will present in the Main Section, while 24 of the most interesting young spaces will gather at the New Entries section. For you, we have hand-picked the very best of them, together with our colleagues over at ATP Diary.

Check them out in 10 Artissima Booths You Must Go See

Made in Heaven: Jeff Koons’ Most Expensive Explicit Artworks

Jeff Koons, the name that is equally praised and despised in today’s art world. Whatever he does Koons sparks the debates and there are always controversies of some kind regarding his artistry. However, there is a body of work that is even today perceived as the most controversial, shocking and provocative in the artist’s whole career and it is his Made in Heaven series, first exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1990. The explicit pornographic imagery of the series brings a modern tale of Adam and Eve with Jeff Koons and his future bride Ilona Staller, better known as the soft-porn star La Cicciolina in the main roles. Made in Heaven series didn’t just blur the line between art and porn but they completely erased it, showing that porn is art undisputedly if it’s made by one of the world’s most famous contemporary artist. Although some critics suggested that this particular series would be Jeff Koons’s downfall, Koons proved them all wrong, and he was reborn in porn to become the world’s most expensive living artist.

Proceed with caution in 7 Most Expensive & Explicit Jeff Koons Made in Heaven Pieces

The Obamas Introduce More Contemporary Art to the White House

Even before the Obamas moved to Washington, their art interest was focused on contemporary art. One of their first dates was at the Art Institute of Chicago, how romantic is that? Nevertheless, the Obama couple love story isn’t on our daily schedule and we need to focus on their art collection. Before Obamas moved to the White House, the collection comprised of more traditional American paintings, but the presidential couple decided to bridge the gap between tradition and modernity, introducing some modern American pieces, but keeping the sense of formality. Over the years, Obamas have borrowed dozens of works from various Washington museums and galleries including pieces made by Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, and Jasper Jones among others.

Read more in How Did the Obamas Change the White House with Contemporary Art?

Lego, Lego Everywhere for Ai Weiwei to Play

A week ago, when Ai Weiwei announced that the Danish company has refused his order, people from all around the world responded swiftly offering help in the form of Logo donations. Ever since Ai Weiwei has been flooded with Lego offers from the anonymous fans. Major museum institutions also joined the initiative, setting up public collection points. The Brooklyn Museum, host of Ai Weiwei’s retrospective exhibition last year, is the first US institution to launch a public donation project. Yesterday, a BMW was parked in front of the museum and staff members were the first to contribute and donate their favorite toys from childhood that will later be used for the artworks exhibited at Melbourne’s National Gallery. The white BMW, which is now parked in front of the museum, will stay there until November 29th, 2015 for all those generous individuals who would like to help Ai Weiwei in his artistic endeavors and donate their Legos. Those too lazy to walk to the museum building can even mail their donations.

Continue reading in Ai Weiwei Lego Collecting Points are Brimming with Toy Blocks!

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