Artist and Populist
February 15, 2016
ChatGPT4 translation – Original in Dutch
Artist and Populist – At a certain point, Koons chose to invoke the power of a higher authority; his alliance with the petty-bourgeois morality has something cold and distant, and just like the Christian icons (Jesus on the cross), his work uses that distance to make a great leap forward; it starts to interfere with me. “Admit it, Kate, these are the things we all ultimately believe in: Happiness, puppies, the forefathers, eternal fidelity, yes, name it!”, and despite the infectious exuberance, I don’t feel addressed by that jovial “we” – first because I’m truly an atheist in his pantheon, and second because I also know that Koons, with the romantic conviction of a liberal, was not gambling on my approval, but that of the majority. But he will never get that. The majority distrusts him as the majority once, upon closer inspection, also distrusted Robespierre; it senses that it is dealing with a will to power in the form of an artistic moralism that looks down from dizzying heights, reasoning too pure to pass for populism. This arouses suspicion, especially since it – the majority – does not see the benefit of this. Koons is thus, like Robespierre, still dependent on figures like me, who are willing to portray him in their megalomaniac fantasies as a tragic hero, and not to forget the billionaires who are willing to pay several million for his work, because they see it as a welcome change from the ubiquitous fair-trade content in art.
(Sometimes, within that generic pretense, there suddenly arises space for a kind of vulnerable, autobiographical sensitivity, as in the Banality series: because he feels somewhat inferior in the presence of his super-attractive wife, he surrenders himself to the fantasy that he is the Pink Panther, who must try to survive with his beta-virility.)