Since his first solo show in 1980, Jeff Koons has surprised the contemporary art world with assemblages featuring basketballs or vacuum cleaners, his scaled-up, stainless steel balloon animals and easter eggs, and his gold-plated, porcelain sculpture, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988. Born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1955, the artist studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, after which he moved to New York and was employed as a security guard at the Museum of Modern Art. During the 1980s Koons worked as a commodities broker, but soon garnered acclaim as a visual artist. In 1992, Koons designed the 43-foot high flower sculpture Puppy for documenta IX in Kassel, which is now on permanent view at the Guggenheim Bilbao. In 2014, the Whitney Museum of American Art organized a retrospective of Koons’ work which traveled the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Guggenheim Bilbao. His work may be found in the collections of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Tate Modern, London.