Fun with Jeff Koons: The first-person shooter game and the action figure

Like him or loathe him, artist Jeff Koons seems to be a good target for critique these days. In one new case he's literally a target -- or at least his artwork is. Hunter Jonakin's Jeff Koons Must Die is a first-person shooter game presented in an '80s-style arcade game cabinet in which a quarter gives players a chance to shoot at digital versions of Koons' balloon animal sculptures. Jonakin (who did his BFA at the University of Minnesota) writes:
Jeff Koons is one of the most polarizing and well known contemporary artists living today. He attempts to elevate the banal by constructing large metal sculptures that resemble balloon animals, oil paintings that contain subject matter derived from digital collage, and large-scale pornographic photographs featuring the artist and his former wife, to name a few. All of Koons’s art is constructed by assistants. In general, viewers love or hate Koons and his work, and that is why he was chosen as the subject matter for this piece.

The game is set in a large museum during a Jeff Koons retrospective. The viewer is given a rocket launcher and the choice to destroy any of the work displayed in the gallery. If nothing is destroyed the player is allowed to look around for a couple of minutes and then the game ends. However, if one or more pieces are destroyed, an animated model of Jeff Koons walks out and chastises the viewer for annihilating his art. He then sends guards to kill the player. If the player survives this round then he or she is afforded the ability to enter a room where waves of curators, lawyers, assistants, and guards spawn until the player is dead. In the end, the game is unwinnable, and acts as a comment on the fine art studio system, museum culture, art and commerce, hierarchical power structures, and the destructive tendencies of gallery goers, to name a few.
Mike Leavitt -- who brought us Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee and Ron English action figures -- also takes on Koons, rendering him as half man, half balloon animal in his recent series of contemporary art themed figurines. Leavitt doesn't explain why he chose Koons as a subject, but the 11-inch polymer clay sculpture, he notes, does come with a "poseable balloon penis."

Via Reddit and Flavorwire.

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