Family Values: Jeff Koons

Today there are as many meanings of the word “family” as there are families. Welcome to the new normal.

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Katherine Heigl and her two-year-old daughter, Naleigh.

Family Values: Jeff Koons

Today there are as many meanings of the word “family” as there are families. Welcome to the new normal.

“I didn’t experience great works of art when I was younger,” says onetime enfant terrible Jeff Koons, recalling that his primer in aesthetics came from his father, who owned a furniture shop in York, Pennsylvania. The artist’s own kids, however, live in a mini Metropolitan Museum: The walls of their Upper East Side town house are chockablock with works by Courbet, Poussin, and Picasso, among others. “Hey, Blakey!” Koons called out to his four-year-old on a recent morning. “Who’s your favorite artist?” “Massys,” came the hesitant reply. “He really does love Massys,” a Flemish Old Master, explains Koons, “but sometimes the kids get shy. They don’t know whether to say their dad, or whatever.” The brood also includes the artist’s daughter Shannon, 35, whom he didn’t meet until 1995 (she was put up for adoption by her mother, a college student at the time), and his son Ludwig, 18, with whom Koons reunited in 2009 following a five-year break imposed by his ex-wife, Italian porn star and politician Ilona Staller. Chez Koons, the “Art Game” is a favorite bedtime ritual. “My dad will say, ‘Find the Picasso or Dalí,’” says Sean, nine, “and the person who finds them all first gets to stay up five minutes later.”

  • Styled by David Vandewal; Hair by Teddy Charles for Orlo Salon;
    Makeup by Benjamin Pucky using chanel at See Management. on koons:
    Hermes’s wool and mohair suit and cotton shirt. burberry london tie. ON
    JUSTINE: Lanvin’s silk satin dress and sequined linen and viscose
    jacket. jimmy choo shoes. on scarlet: marie chantal’s silk dress. on
    Eric: United Colors of Benetton’s cotton shirt; Baby CZ by Carolina
    Zapf’s cotton corduroy pants. right Bank Babies tie; Nike sneakers. ON
    Blake: Baby Dior’s cotton shirt; Stella McCartney’s stretch COTTON
    corduroy pants. Right Bank Babies cotton tie; Nike shoes. on Kurt:
    Burberry children’s cotton shirt; Baby CZ by Carolina Zapf’s cotton
    corduroy pants. Nike shoes. on Sean: Just Another Cheap shirt’s cotton
    shirt.