I'm reading Art on the Edge and Over by Weintraub right now--I find Koons to be one of the most interesting artists in this book, as he explains that his work, "is about embracing guilt and shame and moving forward instead of letting this negative society always thwart us--always a more negative society, always more negative."
Koons' artwork is based on the following Tenets:
Tenet 1: Sex is not embarrassing, private, illicit, or sinful
Tenet 2: Egoism and exhibitionism are prerequisites of fame
"I was there with two pigs--a big one and a little one--so it was like breeding banality. I wanted to debase myself and call myself a pig before the viewer had a chance to, so they could only think more of me."
Tenet 3: Fine art is a commercial enterprise. (Koons is not a hypocrite)
Tenet 4: Kitsch is captivating.
"I try not to use it in any cynical manner. I use it to penetrate mass consciousness--to communicate to people."
Tenet 5: Price determines desire and merit.
"What I'm saying is that the seriousness with which a work of art is taken is interrelated to the value that it has. The market is the greatest critic."
Tenet 6: Art is a luxury item.
"I'm...trying to capture the individual's desire in the object, and to fix his aspirations in the surface in a condition of immortality."
I rather enjoy egotistical artists, probably because I am one myself. You have to be at least a bit narcissistic to be a great artist, I think.