Travel Barfrom the Luxury & Degradation series


Stainless steel

35.5 x 30.5 x 50.8 cm

“In my opinion, stainless steel is the material of the proletarian, it's what pots and pans are made of. It's a very hard material and it's a false luxury”. That's how Jeff Koons described the material he used in 1986 to create the "Luxury and Degradation" series, which featured advertisements for alcoholic beverages and stainless steel travel bar sculptures of liquor bottles in portable cases.

By analyzing the advertising techniques for these alcoholic beverages, the artist observed a noticeable difference between marketing campaigns targeting the less fortunate and those targeting the wealthier. The former ones were direct, more explicit, while the latter were more abstract, more elaborate. According to Jeff Koons, these ads would maintain stereotypes by sending different messages depending on social class. By reproducing some of these alcohol-related utensils with stainless steel, he endows them with a relative shine, superficial and therefore a false luxury.

The work Travel Bar was shown for the first time by Pinault Collection in 2006 during the "Post-Pop" exhibition at Palazzo Grassi.