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Jeff Koons Retrospective Opens in Helsinki

A unique retrospective of the American artist Jeff Koons opens in Helsinki today. It's the largest show in Finland by the artist, featuring over 40 works.

Koons' works are meant to question the commercial value of art itself and critics say they are pushing the boundaries of good and bad taste.

Koons himself says he is fascinated by middle-class America and its everyday objects. He wants to make the visitor to question at which point does exhibiting floating basketballs or inflatable children's toys in a gallery become art.

But perhaps his most controversial works are his "Made in Heaven" series, in which he posed naked with the Italian porn star Cicciolina. The openly sexual pictures stunned American art circles in the 90's - but he says this was unintentional.

"I don't think I ever wanted to shock and I think if you intentionally are making work to shock, its profound depth is very limited," he told YLE24.

Koons hopes his works can deliver a message of tolerance and he wants people to accept themselves for who they are - regardless of skin tone or sexuality.

But Koons' banality doesn't come cheap - one of his pieces fetched over six million dollars in an auction.


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