Jeff Koons on His Whitney Retrospective, the High Line Train, and Emptiness

Whether it’s the mission to bring his $25 million dollar “Train” to the High Line or calling his own artwork “empty,” artist Jeff Koons never ceases to be an art-world enigma. His appropriated sculptures, from “Michael Jackson and Bubbles” porcelain pieces to the enormous “Balloon Flower (Magenta),” incite both staunch criticism and astronomical auction records. The artist also experienced heartbreaking tragedy when his ex-wife and former muse Ilona Staller kidnapped their son Ludwig in 1994. This year, Koons has four solo exhibitions planned around the world: one in Basel, two in Frankfurt, and one in St. Petersburg, Fla. ARTINFOcaught up with Koons at the Whitney Museum of Art during the Wall Street Journal’s Donor of the Day Celebration to ask him what to expect for the last show at the Whitney’s Breuer building, how the High Line “Train” efforts are going, and why he calls his art “empty.”

For the full interview by Ann Binlot, please go to