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Jeff Koons

Whenever I’m asked about whose work influenced me, I always say Martin Kippenberger. It’s hard for me to let go of the fact that he isn’t here any longer. When I was involved with him, he was painting every day, but painting very rapidly. I love the hotel drawings. There is a certain tenderness that’s almost surprising. I had one of Martin’s large underwear paintings in my living room.

I first met Martin in 1986 through Max Hetzler. The gallery thought it would be interesting to show some New York artists in Cologne; Bob Gober, Jon Kessler, and I were invited to be in a group show. I felt completely at home. It really seemed that Martin made an effort to embrace the artists, taking them under his wing in this environment. Whenever he came to New York, we’d get together, but most of the interaction was in Europe.

I always enjoyed Martin’s abstract side. Twentieth-century art seems very much

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