In theaters for three days only, a docu-film dedicated to Jeff Koons draws a never-before-seen portrait of him

Coming to theaters, as part of La Grande Arte al Cinema, is the docu-film produced by Nexo Digital dedicated to Jeff Koons. Director Pappi Corsicato leads the viewer to discover his protagonist, in a totally new portrait.

On October 23, 24 and 25, 2023, the docu-film Jeff Koons. A Private Portrait, directed by Pappi Corsicato and produced by Nexo Digital as part of La Grande Arte al cinema. After the great success of the exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence that reached more than 170,000 visitors, now the film celebrating one of the most influential, popular and controversial artists of recent decades comes to theaters.

The film chronicles the hidden dynamics behind the person, artist and brand Koons. Moving from America to Europe and Qatar through several decades. Through the words of Koons, his sister, wife, and children, as well as critics, gallery owners, artists, and scholars such as Mary Boone, Jeffrey Deitch, Massimiliano Gioni, Antonio Homem, Dakis Joannou, Stella McCartney, Andy Moses, Norman Rosenthal, Scott Rothkopf, Julian Schnabel, and Linda Yablonsky, the docu-film takes an intimate journey into the mind of Jeff Koons, with thegoal of discovering what motivates him today and what has shaped his vision over the course of his career. It is a world in which everyday objects and nostalgia for 20th-century pop transcend their original forms and are transformed into works of art, leaving the viewer to look inside his own reflections.

Pappi Corsicato leads the viewer step by step to discover his protagonist in a totally unprecedented portrait, tracing his 40-year career and exploring his production and communicative method. Interviewees are shown as witnesses to Koons’s life and work, while the story unfolds through a few key locations, necessary to explore his life from the suburbs of the 1950s, to his rise as a superstar in the 1980s to his iconic status: the living artist with a record auction price at Christie’s. In York, Pennsylvania, Koons’ roots and daily life, spent with his wife and former assistant Justine Wheeler and their six children, will be investigated. It is here that Koons, the son of a furniture dealer and interior decorator, was born and raised. And it is here that his earliest memories find a home, memories essential to the structure of his work. A youth relived through everyday memorabilia, often disparaged as kitsch, which the artist has managed to transform into the basis of his triumph: objects such as giant inflatable balloon animals and porcelain Hummel figurines.

In New York, as he witnesses the creative process and the dynamics among his assistants, we will see how Jeff Koons looks back on the formative years in which he evolved from his role as a broker on Wall Street to assistant to artist Ed Paschke to his breakthrough in the late 1970s. With the help of archival footage and newsreels, the rise of his phenomenon in the decades that followed and the controversy that surrounded some of his most famous works, such as Made in Heaven, where he posed nude while having sex with his then porn star wife Ilona Staller, or the series The New that featured a sequence of Hoover vacuum cleaners declaring it a symbol of contemporary society, will be shown. There will be an opportunity to hear what other artists and celebrities think about him, his works, and the difference between the artist and the Jeff Koons brand. One will then follow Jeff Koons on his 2021 tour of five exhibitions through Europe and in his retrospective at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy: Shine.

One will, however, witness, this is the intent, a Koons that has never been seen: away from the exhibits and the spotlight, the artist will recount the hidden beauty and artistic qualities of objects we never even imagined we would take home. Objects that, transformed by his mind, can become million-dollar assets.

For the film’s original music, director Pappi Corsicato turned to Enrico Gabrielli. Classically trained musician, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer, as well as a permanent member of Calibro 35 and founder of the 19’40" record label. Gabrielli used, for the realization of the music, the formation with which he has been collaborating permanently for several years: the Executors of Metallo su Carta. Two of the original tracks on the soundtrack also bear the signature of electronic musician and sound designer Ettore Bianconi (Baustelle, :absent.). The film’s original soundtrack, Enrico Gabrielli’s first for Nexo Soundtracks, will be released in fall 2023 on the Nexo Digital label and Believe distribution.

La Grande Arte al Cinema is an original and exclusive project of Nexo Digital.

For 2023, La Grande Arte al Cinema is distributed exclusively in Italy by Nexo Digital with media partners Radio Capital, Sky Arte, and in collaboration with Abbonamento Musei.

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Jeff Koons poster. A private portrait
Jeff Koons Poster. A Private Portrait
Shine exhibition installations by Jeff Koons. Photos by Ela Bialkowska - OKNO Studio
Shine exhibition layouts by Jeff Koons. Photo by Ela Bialkowska - OKNO Studio

In theaters for three days only, a docu-film dedicated to Jeff Koons draws a never-before-seen portrait of him
In theaters for three days only, a docu-film dedicated to Jeff Koons draws a never-before-seen portrait of him

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