Most of the problems that we have are brought on by the government and not by music. Music is a mirror of what we’re going through, not the cause of what we’re going through. It’s a reaction, it’s our only weapon, it’s our only way to protect ourselves, it’s our only way to fit, it’s our only way to get there. But that’s all right, music kind of thrives on talking about what’s the problem, you know, sometimes glorifying it. You know, when you’re in this pool of poverty and lower education, pretty soon you start wearing all that as a badge. “I’m from the poorest area, I’m from the slums, I came from nothing.” That becomes a badge of honor.
Much has always been made of the fact that Koons is in league with the plutocrats and once worked on Wall Street, selling commodities. But he’s always been quick to refuse the art world’s carefully patrolled shibboleths—that work has personal meaning, that it must contain some social criticism, that it express ambivalence about the art market. Koons does not make ambivalent work, which is his way of giving people what they actually enjoy: a lavishly elevated version of mass-cultural charisma.