Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog Sculpture just sold for a whopping $58,4 million at Christie’sPost-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale and thus set a world record for the most expensive piece of art by a living artist sold at auction. Estimated at $35 – $55 million, his Balloon Dog (Orange) beat his $33.6 Million “Tulips” Sculputure at Wynn Las Vegas.
This 12 feet high “monumental work” (or oversized children’s toy) is one of five metallic dog pieces crafted by Koons (other four are yellow, blue, magenta and red), owned by financier art collectors Steven A. Cohen, Eli Broad (whose “Balloon Dog (Blue)” is on display at LACMA), Francois Pinault and Dakis Joannou.
Speaking about the artwork, Koons told Christie’s: “When I made ‘Balloon Dog’, I wanted to make a piece that reflected the joy of celebrating a birthday or a party. The Balloon Dog is materialism and monumentality. In many ways it is like the Trojan horse.”
The sculpture was sold last night at Christie’s in New York alongside Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud”, which was auctioned for a record $142 million.
Jeff Koons has teamed up with luxury champagne, Dom Pérignon, to design a sculpture for their Rosé 2003. Pop artist and sculptor is best known by his ”Tulips” – a large steel and chromium bouquet of multi-coloured tulips which was sold for $33.6 million in November last year, setting a new auction record for the artist in the process. His latest artwork which contains a bottle of Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003 is actually the miniature version (two-foot) of original Balloons Venus Sculpture in high chromium stainless steel currently on exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery in Manhattan.
For the price of $20,000 you’ll get polyurethane resin sculpture – the cheapest Jeff Koons artwork, but the most expensive package of all of Dom Pérignon‘s collaborations including the brand’s past collaboration with Andy Warhol. Only a few hundred sculptures will be produced and those will be out for sale only by September.
The original Balloon Venus was inspired by the Venus of Willendorf, a statue over 25,000 years old that was discovered in 1908 in Austria.
“I’m very proud of the “Balloons Venus,'” says Koons. “It’s a work that I enjoy and I think really represents my oeuvre of work. “Balloon Venus” represents the continuation of life’s energy. A great vintage also represents the vintages that will come, and so it’s about the continuation of something. It’s a continued creative process.”