Mound of Flowers, 1991

Jeff Koons has been called the world’s most famous, controversial and subversive living artist. Throughout his career Koons has pushed the boundaries of contemporary art. From floating basket balls and ready-made objects to his re-working of classical statues and Old Master paintings, Koons has, at turns, delighted, shocked and intrigued his viewers.

In Mound of Flowers, Koons borrows a motif commonly used to symbolise spiritual and physical love. It was heavily inspired by the ornamental designs in Rococo churches but it looks like something that has escaped cartoon celluloid. As is the case with many of Koon’s sculptures, Mound of Flowers is immediately gratifying in all its shiny splendour, bursting with joy and plastic-fantasticness, but the surface belies the serious production of the work. The sculpture was not made by the artist himself but crafted entirely from individual pieces of glass by traditional glass workers on the island of Murano, Italy.