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Jeff Koons (b.1955)
Fisherman Golfer
stainless steel
12 x 5 x 8 in. (30 x 12.7 x 20.4 cm.)
Executed in 1986. This work is number three from an edition of three with one artist's proof and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed and dated by the artist.
Gagosian Gallery, New York
Robert Krasnow, Palm Beach
Anon. sale Christie's, New York, 12 November 1998, lot 44
J. Koons and R. Rosenblum, The Jeff Koons Handbook, Cologne 1992, p.65 (illustrated in color) and p.156.
A. Muthesius, Jeff Koons, Cologne 1992, p.21 and p.81, pl.18 (illustrated), and p.166.
L. Attias, "A Kinder, Gentler Koons", Art News, March 1998, p.158 (illustrated).
T. Kellein, Pictures Jeff Koons 1980-2002, Bielefeld 2002, p.22 (illustrated).
New York, International with Monument, Luxury and Degradation, July-August 1986 (another example exhibited).
Los Angeles, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Luxury and Degradation, July-August 1986 (another example exhibited).
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum; Aarhus Kunstmuseum; and Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, Jeff Koons, November 1992-March 1993, p.20 illustrated; another example exhibited).
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Jeff Koons, December 1992-October 1993, p.67, pl.21 (illustrated in color; another example exhibited), p.131.

Lot Essay

Luxury and Degradation, Installation, International with Monument, New York 1986
Courtesy of Jeff Koons.

A deliberate combination of fishing, golfing and drinking, Fisherman Golfer, 1986 could only be from Jeff Koons' important and celebrated body of work, Luxury and Degradation. This series consisted of a number of billboard liquor advertisements reproduced on canvas and a select group of liquor-related accoutrements such as a travel bar, an ice bucket, a baccarat crystal set and a pail, all cast in stainless steel. The centre piece was Jim Beam J.B. Turner Train. The exhibition attempted to expose the shallow artifice of the way in which advertising used abstract ideas to stimulate social ambition. "I wanted to show how luxury and abstraction are used to debase people and take away their economic and political power." (Jeff Koons cited in ed. A. Muthesius, Jeff Koons, Cologne 1992, p.21).
Luxury and Degradation was a direct critique of the pursuit of luxury and the dangerous and inherent lie in the manipulative language of advertising. The artist's choice of the material was very deliberate; stainless steel is a highly sensual and essentially feminine surface--the primary aim of this work is the seduction of the viewer. It looks like silver as its polished surface appeals to the eye and to our notion of luxury. But the material also appealed to Koons as it was related to the class system, on which so much advertising depends.

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