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Hoovers Can Be Art – A Post For Perfect Housewives

21st century

Hoovers Can Be Art – A Post For Perfect Housewives

Do you like cleaning? I do, though I’m still far from being a Perfect Housewife. But I really like hoovering (especially with Henry). And the American artist Jeff Koons seems to be a fan of hoovers, too.

Jeff Koons, New Hoover Convertibles, Green, Red, Brown, New Shelton Wet/Dry 10 Gallon Displaced Doubledecker, 1981–7, Tate

Jeff Koons, New Hoover Convertibles, Green, Red, Brown, New Shelton Wet/Dry 10 Gallon Displaced Doubledecker, 1981–7, Tate

Yes, this is real, hoovers in the museum. But as soon as they enter the museum space, they cease to be only hoovers. They become sculptures, highly conceptual, and this is how we should view them. Koons began exhibiting hoovers in 1980 and spent next seven years working on different configurations and models.

Jeff Koons, New Hoover Quik Broom, New Hoover Celebrity IV, 1980

Jeff Koons, New Hoover Quik Broom, New Hoover Celebrity IV, 1980


Koons is famous for his fascination with mundane objects and what they represent for our contemporary society. With this project, referred to as “The New”, he explored how we project our dreams, unfulfilled desires and fantasies, for example about being a Perfect Housewife, onto ordinary items. Moreover, he inspires reflections about how we worship objects nowadays and cannot get by without them.

Jeff Koons, New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polishers, 1981-86

Jeff Koons, New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polishers, 1981-86

Some may say that a hoover behind glass is not art. And they may be right if they think of art as a rigid and unchanging entity.
But what makes such projects art, is their message, because conceptual art is not about the object and the mastery of the artist. It’s about the ideals that the artist wants to convey via the object which serves only as a vehicle.


Ok, no more preaching, I’d better go to clean something.

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Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

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