Arts & Entertainment

Texture & Materials

Jeff Koons

Lesson time 08:06 min

Learn how textures—physical or implied—can enhance the meaning of a work of art.

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

Topics include: Connect to Your Senses With Textures · Reflections Affirm Your Existence · Creating Symbols of Life With Stainless Steel · Implying Texture in Two-Dimensional Forms


[MUSIC PLAYING] JEFF KOONS: Texture is a really powerful tool. When we start to have mobility as an organism, and we start to experience the world, it's through textures. So this is so deep within us, the importance of defining our experience and understanding danger or pleasure, where opportunity could be. All of this comes through perceptions. When we think about texture, we think about sensations up against the body, what's touching the fingertips, or what we can perceive if we would rub the body against something. That's really what texture is kind of defining, the surface of something. So if you have kind of a rough surface, it's going to be a little more dangerous because automatically you think the body could be punctured if you have a very rough, threatening surface. If you have something that looks like it's soft and cushiony, you may feel more like, oh, you know, I could even bed down here a little bit. So we're going to be responding. And these are our tools to communicate with people. In my "Banality" series, I worked with porcelain. Porcelain came from the king's kitchen. It was a material for the emperor, for the king. A common person did not have porcelain. But today, it's become democratized so we all can have a porcelain object. I wanted to communicate this idea of kind of an economic leveling where the high were kind of being brought down, and the low is being brought up, and also dealing with the acceptance of one's own sexuality. Because porcelain, you come in contact with in the bathroom. But I also incorporated wood. And wood's an organic material. It's thought of as a live material because it always continues to adapt to its environment due to humidity and all different things. "The New" was a body of work that dealt with the texture of newness. I mean, there are vacuum cleaners there. But really, what you were perceiving and what I wanted people to walk away with would have been newness. So it would've been the texture of something very ephemeral, ethereal, that it's just new. It's brand new, never used. And so you can think of a texture that's just kind of invisible, or you can think of, well, what is new? Is it newborn, something just coming out of the womb? Is that the texture of the new? Or is it just something that's completely smooth and polished and glistening? So it really depends on the ideas that you would like to communicate. And if you think about those ideas, what it should be, how it should present itself, will come to you. The information's everywhere. It will present itself to you. [MUSIC PLAYING] I became pulled to reflective surface in kind of the mid-'70s when I started to make my inflatable sculptures. And I enjoyed the abstraction. And I started to love this idea of a visual luxury that a reflective surface gives. Even though I was in my apartment in New York, I was thinking back to my father's showroom and the impact of the mirror on my life and of reflection. And i...

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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