Why Jeff Koons Made Puppy and Other Facts

One of Jeff Koon’s most famous art exhibitions is called Puppy. Before finding its permanent home at the Guggenheim museum, the Puppy art exhibit has traveled the world.

Jeff Koons created Puppy’s art exhibition for everyone viewing it to feel optimism and security. He uses both flowers and a puppy for his installation as those are two things most people love and can relate to. True to Jeff Koons’s art, the puppy tests the limits between popular and elite culture by using an oversize dog that looks like a topiary plant.

The Puppy is an adorable art installation that you can not help but love. I mean, who doesn’t love flowers and dogs?

Why Jeff Koons Made Puppy

Jeff Koons’s art installation of the puppy is a sweet iconography that uses both flowers and puppies – two things that almost everyone loves. Jeff Koons said he designed the sculpture to create “optimism and security within us.

Jeff Koons is an artist that rose into prominence in the mid-1980s as part of a generation of artists who started to explore the meaning of the media-saturated world that communicated to the masses. Jeff Koons’s work uses the visual language of advertising, marketing, and the entertainment industry.

Jeff Koons’s artwork tests the limits between popular and elite culture. He has created things as plexiglass and hoover vacuum cleaner, basketballs suspended in glass aquariums, balloon dog, and a porcelain homage of Michael Jackson.

Some people say that Jeff Koons made Puppy reference the anti-capitalistic society or the society that we now live in. Others say it’s simply about optimism, happiness, love, and security. As this is a Jeff Koons art installation, there are probably many meanings that we can derive from the Puppy art installation and many reasons why he produced it.

About Puppy By Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons Puppy is a West Highland Terrier dog. He said he chose a West Highland Terrier because it seemed a neutral dog for most people. He did not want anyone viewing Puppy to feel alienated because he considers the Puppy a very spiritual artwork.

In speaking of this, Jeff Koons said in an interview with the New York Times Magazine about his choice of a West Highland Terrier breed dog:

“If I had done a poodle, it would have seemed very feminine. And if I had done a Doberman or a sheep dog, it would have come off as masculine. But a West Highland terrier seems neutral that way, which is good, because I don’t want anyone in the audience to feel alienated. It’s a very spiritual piece.”

Jeff Koon – New York Times Magazine

We learn that Jeff Koons wanted the Puppy to be an inclusive art installation. He wanted everyone to be able to view it and not to feel alienated in any way. The Puppy is a wildly successful art installation, so he has been successful in not alienating anyone.

The Puppy By Jeff Koons – The Structure

The Puppy is a permanent art exhibition of the Guggenheim, and it stands guard outside the Guggenheim Museum. It reminds me of those Chinese Foo dogs that stand guard outside of a building to bring good luck and guard the building.

The giant lifesize sculpture was produced using sophisticated computer modeling practices; Jeff Koon used modern technology to create his artwork.

Sideview of The Puppy By Jeff Koons

The Puppy structure stands 42″ foot high and is made with stainless steel and is so well made that Jeff Koons said that someone could live inside the structure.

In his interview to the New York Times in 2000, Jeff Koons was interviewed by Deborah Solomon and he said this about the Puppy’s structure and why he created it the way he did:

Solomon – How, then, have your interests changed?

Koons – I think my interests have remained the same. I’m interested in making objects that you would want to grab and take with you if your house was burning down.

Solomon – You’re kidding. Why would I want to grab a 42-foot-tall puppy covered with begonias if my house was on fire?

Koons – ”Puppy” is a shelter. It’s built out of stainless steel. It’s like the fuselage of an airplane. You could live inside it.

Jeff Koon – New York Times Magazine

The Puppy By Jeff Koons – The Topiary Reference

This substantial oversized puppy is standing guard at the Guggenheim. On it are flowers and different types of plants. The plants are replaced twice a year for seasonal flowers or plants; the plants are replaced in April and October each year.

Samples of Flowers in the Puppy Installation

Some types of plants placed on the Puppy art installation include pansies for the fall and winter, and begonias, impatiens, and petunias for the spring and summertime periods. Depending on the time of year you visit the Puppy, it can look completely different.

The Puppy is in reference to the 18th Century formal gardens found in many places around the world such as England. The Topiary nature of the Puppy is similar to many of the Topiary plants found in these gardens.

Topiary is the horticulture practice of trimming plants to maintain clean shapes, whether geometric, animals, or just a form. As Topiary requires skill, it was usually in the finest homes and gardens around the world and would usually require a gardener to take care of the gardens and plants. .

The Puppy By Jeff Koons – Themes Explored

There are many artistic and other themes in the Puppy by Jeff Koons. In the Puppy, Jeff Koon engages the past and present. He is using modern and sophisticated technology with the age-old art of Topiary.

He has used modern technology it build something that will last and stand through the test of time (Stainless steel), yet referenced the age-old art of topairy.

Jeff Koon is also true to his past work as he combines the elite (Topiary and breeding of fine dogs) with the masses (a family pet or a garden). Puppy itself is almost the kind of metaphor about how we live our lives literally and figuratively. 

The puppy is a mammoth size, and the plants can grow out of control. Yet the Puppy is so well designed what can seem out of control is very much in control.

The puppy is a fantastic work of art by a tremendous American artist. Jeff Koons has shown us that he can do any theme – even a Puppy and make it magnificent and grand.

You can find out more about Jeff Koons and see his artwork by visiting his official site here.

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Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

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