They all recycle

“Jeff Koons talks about buying the art of past masters whose influences resonate through his own work.
In the Financial Times.

Artists have always collected the work of earlier masters. Some, such as Vasari, Lely, Rubens or Reynolds, ranked among the greatest collectors of their day. Earlier this month, at the impressive new specialist Old Master paintings fair, Paris Tableau, a loan exhibition unveiled three pictures from the hitherto rather private collection of Jeff Koons. And while Andy Warhol’s dazzlingly successful spiritual heir is not the only contemporary artist to buy Old Master and 19th-century paintings, drawings or sculpture, the creator of floating basketballs, 43ft topiary puppies and gleaming steel bunnies may not seem the most likely among his peers to be haunting Neapolitan baroque churches or flicking through auction catalogues.
Yet Koons has long engaged with Old Master paintings and sculpture in his own work (there is a peerless artistic pedigree for that too). What is remarkable here is the extraordinary range of his magpie borrowings.

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