Jeff Koons studied at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and at Art Institute of Chicago (1972-1976), followed by a six-year stint as a Wall Street broker before he resumed his career as an artist. His Wall Street years are regarded as a contributing factor in the type of art for which he later became famous.
Since his breakthrough in the 1980s Koons has been considered an enfant terrible who ceaselessly has pushed the boundaries of bad taste and what is permitted in the art world. Carrying on the tradition from pop art he has used his works to reflect the commercialism of the modern world.
In the 1980s Koons took part in the American art movement Neo-Geo which employed parody and appropriation in their art. The following decade Koons created the series Made in Heaven in which he and his then wife, porn star Ilona Staller (La Cicciolina), perform a number of sexually explicit scenes. The series made a big splash due to its coupling of art and pornography. Today Koons lives and works in New York.
Koons has participated in numerous exhibitions all over the world, including the Whitney Biennial in New York (1987), Documenta in Kassel (1992), in 1992-1993 a large retrospective exhibition was shown at Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Aarhus Kunstmuseum and Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.
Noteworthy are also the exhibitions "Jeff Koons. Easy Fun – Etheral" at Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, Guggenheim Bilbao and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2000-2002), "Jeff Koons" at Kunsthaus Bregenz (2001), "Irony" at Fundación Joan Miró in Barcelona (2001), "Au-delà du spectacle" at Centre George Pompidou in Paris (2000), "Shopping" at Tate Liverpool (2002), "Encounter with Modernism" at Shanghai Art Museum (2004), "The Incomplete" at Chelsea Art Museum in New York (2007/2008), "Jeff Koons" at Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin (2008), “Jeff Koons Celebration" at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin (2008/2009) and "Jeff Koons" at Chateau de Versailles in France (2008/2009)
Furthermore Koons is represented at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam, Tate Modern in London, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art