The Ashmolean is hosting an exhibition from one of the most controversial and divisive living artists. Love him or hate him his works have always generated opinion and debate; now there is a chance to see 17 exhibits on our doorstep, 14 of which have never been seen before in the UK. Before you decide where you stand, if you are able to take a trip to Oxford we can certainly recommend you should take a look for yourself!
Polished stainless steel made to look like inflated vinyl balloon toys, surreal sculptures resembling larger-than-life kitch......the sheer scale of some pieces is breathtaking while the intricacy and seamless detailing is awe-inspring. Balloon Venus (Magenta) is a monumental 2.6m tall statement piece which was apparently inspired by 'the Venus of Wilendorf' a Stone Age fertility figure only 11cm tall and believed to be more than 30,000 years old (yes, 30,000!),
But is it Art? Perhaps this is in the eye of the beholder. Certainly many are turned against works which fetch huge sums at auction. David Hockney's 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)' recently sold for $90.3m (£70.3m) in New York, beating the previous record for a work by a living artist which was held by Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog (Orange) which sold for £58.4m in 2013
Both these sums are dwarfed by Leonardo da Vinci's Salvador Mundi. Although long dead his mastepiece was bought last year for $450,3m!