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Exhibition sponsored by:

Luxury
and
Degra-
dation

 

"To me the stainless steel is the material of the proletarian, it’s what pots and pans are made of. It’s very hard material and it’s fake luxury".

In 1986, Jeff Koons unveiled a new series in which he aimed to show how advertising techniques and marketing campaigns for alcoholic drinks served to perpetuate roles in society. The artist picked up on one significant difference: the ads intended for audiences from the less affluent end of the socioeconomic spectrum had a more explicit message, whereas those destined for the other, more prosperous end of the spectrum, tended to be more abstract. In other words, they sent different messages to different social classes, thereby perpetuating social immobility and stereotypes. In addition to a selection of these ads, in Luxury and Degradation Koons included a series of objects and utensils associated with alcohol consumption which he endowed with false luxury by giving an ordinary material like stainless steel a shiny, sumptuous finish.

Travel Bar, 1986
Stainless steel
35.6 × 50.8 × 30.5 cm
Edition no. 1/3
Private Collection
© Jeff Koons