Jeff Koons

Cultural Life: Ben Bradshaw, culture secretary

Sameem Ali's 'Belonging' – an autobiographical account of escape from a forced marriage and abusive family. Before that, the biography of the great Labour politician and first Arts minister Jennie Lee by Patricia Hollis.

Pop life: Meet the stars of the New York and London art scenes

When new york city's Gramercy Park Hotel opened its doors in May 1994 to a group of gallery owners showcasing the works of their young artists, a "spontaneous" event in one of its rooms involving a British dealer and his female protégé made the city's adrenaline-fuelled art world stop and stare. Tracey Emin, a tousle-haired artist from Margate, had accompanied Jay Jopling, her London dealer and the owner of White Cube Gallery, to the contemporary art fair, which was spread across 32 hired rooms at the Manhattan hotel – and on that Sunday morning, she crept into the bed on which Jopling was perched, impishly covered them both with the embroidered bedspread she was there to sell (for $4,000), and smiled for the cameras.

The Diary: Jeff Koons' curious world; BBC is young at arts; Jean

Jeff Koons gave British journalists a rare glimpse into his curious world a few days ago, after inviting them to his New York studio for a personal, guided tour. Referring to his 'Made In Heaven' series, the explicit set of works featuring himself with his former porn-star wife, Ilona, who went by the stage name of Cicciolina, he asked one of his many assistants sitting on computers to pull up a picture he wanted to show the group. "Could we see 'Ilona's asshole?' he said, matter-of-factly, as it emerged on a screen. "And that's me", he said, pointing to a healthy member behind her. He then went on to speak about the train that he is controversially erecting outside Los Angeles County Museum of Art, relating the movement of a train to the sexual act. He said the "woo-woo" noise represented a "plateau of orgasms", before sending the press on their way. I look forward to more of the same when he appears before the starchy British press at the Serpentine Gallery next week, to launch his latest show, Popeye.