Bicycle Wheel and New Hoover Deluxe Rug Shampooer
Bicycle Wheel and New Hoover Deluxe Rug Shampooer

Since the beginning of his career, Koons has been deeply influenced by Marcel Duchamp, an artist involved in the early-twentieth-century Dada movement that critiqued artistic and social convention. In Koons´s words, “to me the major artistic dialogue of the twentieth century was between subjective and objective art. Subjective art is about the self and personal experience, when you’re working physically with your own hands. Objective art is like the art of Duchamp or [Andy] Warhol that’s more about communal experience.”

In the spirit of Duchamp’s “objective” art and readymades, which combine preexisting objects to present them as works of art such as Bicycle Wheel (1913), Koons presents his New Hoover Deluxe Rug Shampooer (1979) from The New series. In this piece the artist removes the household appliance from its ordinary environment and refashions it as a study of line, form and mass displayed against a backdrop of fluorescent lights. He uses new common objects with artistic purposes.

Duchamp, Marcel (1887-1968): Bicycle Wheel (1951 after lost Digitale (1)(A)original of 1913)
New York, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).Assemblage: metal wheel, 25 oe" (63,8 cm.) diameter, mounted on painted wood stool 23 Ÿ" (60,2 cm) high; overall 50 oe x 25 oe x 16 5/8" (128,3x63,8x42 cm)
The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection.595.1967 a-b .© 2015
Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence