Arts & Entertainment

Life As an Artist

Jeff Koons

Lesson time 07:56 min

Jeff reflects on his career and gives you advice on how to pursue an artistic life.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Your Opportunities Increase With Age · Closing


[MUSIC PLAYING] JEFF KOONS: This MasterClass-- it's been a unique opportunity for me to be able to reflect on the last over six decades of my involvement with art. What's important to me is that I know that I was as responsible with my work as I could be, and that I was as generous with my work, and that I took it as a responsibility to try to be as generous as possible with the community through my work as an artist. And I hope that I've been able to help you find meaning within your work or your ideas. And one thing I can assure you is that art will always be there for you. It'll be a vehicle that'll help you connect to the world. You know, it's interesting. If we look at the life of an artist over history, if you look back in ancient times, you know, artists were really appreciated by society. They were really very well-kept by the king or the prince. So artists have had all different ranks and places within society over the years. After the French Revolution, all of a sudden, artists had to find a new way for support. And artists were no longer at the service of a king or at the service of a church. And they had to find their way just within the common world just as, like, any trade person would find their way. So it's more in recent history that we look at artists as-- that you have to have a lot of struggle. And the artist, if it's really a pure artist-- you know, the artist has to suffer, and they have to have poverty. And I hope that people that really work hard, and you end up, through your dedication, your hard work, that you have success in life, that you don't feel like you should be still struggling. But everybody also has that moments of struggle. And I've struggled. Anybody who really is committed to something that you find your way in life-- you know, you're creating a course that hasn't been there before. And your own life is unique, and it's individual. But this economic aspect about art, I hope that people don't hold too important. But when you are committed to something, the joy of that commitment and that-- you know, you really don't care about the circumstances that are happening other than reaching your goal. There were moments when I created my vacuum cleaner pieces-- the new-- that I had to move home and live with my parents. I had to do that twice. I got myself back on my feet a little bit, and I had to go right back again. But what I'd really like to try to stress is that everybody goes through trials and tribulations, so it's so important that you have that commitment. And if you have that commitment, that's where all the beauty is. That's where your joy in life is going to come from. And that's where, you know, hopefully you can provide and you can give some leadership to people. [MUSIC PLAYING] One of the wonderful things about art is that it's an activity that you can continue to do no matter what age you are. Some of the favorite works that I enjoy-- when I think about art, I'll ...

About the Instructor

One of the most important and influential artists working today, Jeff Koons is perhaps best known for his iconic Balloon Dog. Now he’s inviting you to an intimate, thought-provoking conversation about the history, purpose, and pleasures of art. Learn how color, scale, form, and texture can help you express ideas and communicate with others. Leave your self-judgment and fear behind—the world is waiting for your art.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons teaches you how color, scale, form, and more can help you channel your creativity and create the art that’s in you.

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