Foreword by Julia Peyton Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist. Text by Frederic Tuten, Arthur C. Danto, Dorothea von Hantelmann. Conversation with Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Jeff Koons’s Popeye series, begun in 2002, incorporates some of the artist’s signature themes and motifs: the surrealistic combination of everyday objects, cartoon imagery, outsized scale, art-historical references and children’s toys. The sculptures reproduced here continue Koons’s fondness for casting inflatable toys in aluminum—carefully painted to resemble supple plastic—which he juxtaposes here with unaltered everyday objects, such as chairs or garbage cans. The Popeye paintings are complex and layered compositions that combine disparate images both found and created by Koons (including images of the sculptures in the series). The instantly recognizable figures of Popeye and Olive Oyl are central, and recur across several key works within the book. Frederic Tuten, Arthur C. Danto and Dorothea von Hantelmann provide commentary on this fun body of work, which Koons discusses in a conversation with Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist.