Since Jeff Koons' emergence in the 1980s, he has blended the concerns and methods of Pop, Conceptual and appropriation art with craft-making and popular culture to create his own unique iconography, often controversial and always engaging.

His work explores contemporary obsessions with sex and desire; race and gender; and celebrity, media, commerce and fame. Internationally-acclaimed sculptor Koons' artworks rarely inspire moderate responses, and this is one signal of the importance of his achievement. Focusing on some of the most unexpected objects as models for his work, Koons' works eschew typical standards of "good taste" in art and zero in rather precisely on the vulnerabilities of hierarchies and value systems. This talk is in honor of longtime faculty member Abby Sangiamo's retirement. When Koons received MICA's Alumni Award in 2009, he credited Sangiamo as an important figure in his art education with "He led me to really start to focus on the possibilities of what art can be."