Jeff Koons on the Difference Between Art and Design & Best Dressed Celebs at 2017 MOCA Gala

The stars aligned to honor artist Jeff Koons at the 2017 MOCA Gala on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Artists of all sorts — from the fashion and entertainment communities — feted Koons at the annual fundraiser and soiree, which got a boost of support from such boldface names as Sharon Stone, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Tilly, Sean Penn, Ryan Seacrest, John Legend and Miguel.

jeff koons artist moca gala 2017 justine wheeler Jeff Koons and Justine Wheeler at the 2017 MOCA Gala in Los Angeles. REX Shutterstock.

Speaking to Footwear News, Koons said that when artists collaborate with fashion brands, such as his recent collection of bags for Louis Vuitton and previous shoe designs for Charlotte Olympia, the creative synchronicity works best “when there are no limitations.”

“When I worked with Louis Vuitton, I had complete freedom, just as I am when I have other artwork that I want to create,” Koons said. “When things become controlled and you have limitations placed on you, that’s when it becomes something other than art — that’s the difference between art and design.”

Koons has incorporated shoe iconography in some of his work, including the provocative 1990 “Silver Shoes” portrait, and shared that the image of footwear in art “usually relates to some type of sensual quality.”

Artists also find inspiration in times of crisis, and Koons believes that through artistic expression, we can manifest change.

“We live in this world and absorb events,” Koons said. “I think every individual, every day of their life, has a responsibility to communicate the values they hold dear and how they can better their life and those around them. I think now, more than ever, because of the different types of tensions and crisis coming into play, it is the type of responsibility we should be assuming ever day of our lives, always.” 

jennifer tilly poker jeff koons moca gala 2017 gucci Jennifer Tilly wears Gucci at the 2017 MOCA Gala honoring Jeff Koons. REX Shutterstock.

Tilly, who looked chic in a Gucci dress that she ordered herself, told FN that after it arrived much later than promised, the brand threw in a pair of slippers — gratis.

“I have so many shoes, and I never get rid of them. Speaking of art, they are like little sculptures, and they look just as good on your feet as they do off your feet,” Tilly said. “That’s why I think women are really into shoes and bags. 

The actress and poker player said that she enjoys incorporating playing-card motifs into her wardrobe, including a pair of Dolce & Gabbana Mary Janes that feature a queen-of-hearts design. “I’m hoping they were inspired by me,” she joked.

“I play poker on television, so I like to wear poker-related items as a joke,” Tilly explained. “Poker players are kind of scruffy, and they wear sweatpants and old T-shirts and whatever they roll out of bed in. Sometimes, they wear pajamas. I used to be a movie star, so I like to dress up.”

Ricky Martin (right) and Jwan Yosefon wear patent leather shoes at the 2017 MOCA Gala.
China Chow in nude sandals and George Kotsiopoulos in Christian Louboutin shoes at the 2017 MOCA Gala.
sharon stone jeff koons moca gala 2017 sharon stone Sharon Stone wears a black gown featuring sequin detail at the 2017 MOCA Gala honoring Jeff Koons. REX Shutterstock.

Click through the gallery to view more best dressed celebrities at the 2017 MOCA Gala.