Then: Art provocateur (who had studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago), known for his impeccable, glossy reproductions of cheap and tawdry ephemera, from balloon animals to statues of Michael Jackson nuzzling his monkey. "A point of contention because a lot of artists felt the excess of the decade was a sell-out and Koons was very overt about this, about putting a dollar value on art." (Warren) Now: "You see Koons' influence out in the world all the time. There's something about that ironic, overtly-slick aesthetic that permeates our popular culture and especially our advertising." (Rashid Johnson, Chicago-born artist) For example: Every high-end collector's toy and statue carries a hint of Jeff Koons.