Re: Public displaying of Nude Art
I studied about Koons briefly in an art class. What he is about is very abstract conceptual art, or complete crap, depending on your point of view. We didn't go into these porn images, but I am not surprised. You have to understand that this guy is a rhetoritician, and someone who hangs out with big money people in the fashion industry. He does not 'make' anything. He gives general instructions to others to actual make the work. What he does is think up sensationalistic concepts, make deals, and talk to the media.
I found the man and his projects extremely offensive on a level much deeper than having to do with sexual taboos. His sculptures deliberately contain exact copies of commercial images, stuff like the pink panther, precious moments-like figurines, etc... For those of you who haven't seen much porn, those pictures are basically standard poses and shots, and the woman's head wreath is virtually the trademark of an Italian porn star named something like Cicciolina - aside from some of the syrupy backgrounds they are EXACT copies.
That's his schtick. He presents you with exact copies of the most banal, commercial, or in this case pornographic images, then tries to convince you that this crap is somehow transcendent or different because he says so, and because he has the connections to get it presented in major galleries and art/fashion mags. Like someone else said, he's like Duchamp, except squared, and bumping up against contemporary norms and taboos. Koons is well respected by people who don't care about beauty or craftsmanship in art and instead see art as primarily a kind of contemporary dialogue of extravagant philosophies. To these people, Duchamp is a god who practically invented art as they know it.
Anyway, the whole array of arguments here is exactly what he was trying to provoke. Given the serious repressive and anti-intellectual streaks in american culture, it almost seems too easy. Just be aware that, in this whole debate, he sees himself as above and beyond it all: a puppet master, laughing at you whichever side you are on. If you don't like him for peddling smut, you've totally underestimated the problem.