Screen Test: Jeff Koon's Olive Oyl

Jeff Koons paints a picture. Well, not Jeff Koons exactly, but Jeff Koons and three teams of three assistants, working eight-hour shifts, twenty-four hours a day for more than a month. Still, Art News put it simply as “So-and-So Paints a Picture” when in the ’50s and ’60s the magazine dispatched writers and photographers to catch de Kooning or Hoffman or Pollock in the act. The series of articles let readers see individual paintings in various states of undress, offering an unusually intimate glimpse of an artist’s studio life, right down to photos of messy palettes. Artforum gave Koons a somewhat analogous treatment in 1997, when he was not-so-fast at work on his laborious “Celebration” series. (The fact that one of the very same paintings featured in that spread hangs in his studio today looking less complete than it did seven years ago testifies to the artist’s near-mythic production

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