Jump to content

"Balloon Dog (Orange)," (1994-2000) by Jeff Koons - The Highest Price Paid for an Artwork by a Living Artist in Auction History


DonRocks

Recommended Posts

It's going to be a great deal of fun tracking ongoing auction records for artworks as this website ages (clicking on the tag Auctions will always get you a fairly updated list of threads).

"Balloon Dog (Orange)" by Jeff Koons sold for $58.4 Million at the Christie's Nov 12, 2013 auction, breaking the previous highest price for a Koons artwork of $33.7 Million, and also shattering the previous world record for "most money paid for an artwork by a living artist" of $37.1 Million for "Domplatz, Mailand" (1968) by Gerhard Richter, which sold in May of 2013.

"Koons's Puppy Sets $58 Million Record for Living Artist" by Katya Kazakina and Phillip Boroff on bloomberg.com

"The Most Expensive Art Ever Sold at Auction: Christie's Record-Breaking Sale" by Kathryn Tully on forbes.com

balloon-dog.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Al Dente said:

Can someone tell me what that sculpture means? Is there anything deeper here beyond a large-scale reproduction of an animal balloon? It's shiny and kinda cute, but who gives a $58M rat's ass?

I don't mean to give a simple answer to a complex question, but truer words were never spoken:

"Art is what you can get away with." -- Andy Warhol

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/5/2016 at 8:38 AM, Al Dente said:

Can someone tell me what that sculpture means? Is there anything deeper here beyond a large-scale reproduction of an animal balloon? It's shiny and kinda cute, but who gives a $58M rat's ass?

It's probably ironic to refer to the New York Review of Books in an attempt to brand something pretentious drek.  Nonetheless, has some deliciously scathing stuff to say.:

"The Koons retrospective is a multimillion-dollar vacuum, but it is also a multimillion-dollar mausoleum in which everything that was ever lively and challenging about avant-gardism and Dada and Duchamp has gone to die… Koons’s overblown souvenirs are exactly what Duchamp warned against, a habit-forming drug for the superrich."

"For the Gilded Age avant-garde, such legendary events [the premier of "The Rites of Spring"] have become the model for new marketing opportunities, and there is an assumption that if the public has a very strong negative reaction to something—if a work of art disturbs or annoys or flummoxes some of the public—it most likely is important. Incredibly enough, there are highly intelligent observers who believe that Koons challenges them in more or less the same way that Matisse, Picasso, Nijinsky, and Pollock might once have done.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Waitman said:

overblown souvenirs

Perfectly put. 

Now for the pretentious defense:

Ken Johnson's review from the NYT

Quote

"But the ''Balloon Dog,'' an elephantine stainless steel copy of a balloon twisted into the form of a big-earred creature, is unequivocally wonderful. With its bulbous volumes, like giant sausage links, coated in translucent, coppery orange lacquer, it has a breathtaking physical presence.

Note the beautifully realized knot that serves as its nose and its perky, phallic tail. Like its much smaller ancestor, ''Rabbit,'' it evokes the euphoric, childlike optimism of modernity while adding a certain priapic excitement.

But as Mr. Koons's work always does, the ''Balloon Dog'' has its dark side. Balloons are inherently unstable: they are impressive for a brief, shining moment, but then they must either burst or slowly die. Is it too much of a stretch to see the ''Balloon Dog'' in relation to the bipolar swings of inflation and recession that characterize contemporary economic life? Is it mere coincidence that the dog was born at the same time as the great stockmarket bubble of the 90's? (Nonsympathizers may say it's a good symbol for Mr. Koons's career.)

Many people live these days with an anxious feeling that the world they know could suddenly burst. ''Balloon Dog'' embodies the joy and terror of such a moment with exhilarating panache."

"Bulbous volumes" of BS.

Here's a beautifully realized balloon knot:

balloon-knot.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...