The artist is closing in on 60 and opening the biggest exhibit of his life
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Jeff Koons’ studio, a building that occupies a quarter block on Manhattan’s West Side, is a bit like a mad scientist’s laboratory. In one white-walled room after another, Koons and his staff of about 130 work on a dozen or more projects simultaneously. Some comb the Internet, which is where Koons tends to find the images he knits together via software into paintings his assistants execute under his supervision. Statues in progress–a classical figure in stainless steel, a pink ballerina–face off in a room where Koons and his assistants fetishize every surface. To produce the latest generation of his mighty playthings, those scaled-up riffs on balloon animals, heaps of Play-Doh and the Incredible Hulk, Koons uses 3-D digital scanning and computer-controlled manufacturing.