Jeff Koons is one of the most popular contemporary artists today. There is no need to give some general introduction to his art – Koons is widely recognized as one of the most influential, important, but also controversial artists of the postwar era. Even people who aren’t art enthusiasts or do not follow contemporary art have heard for him. The first thing that probably comes to mind when Jeff Koons is mentioned is his celebrity status and substantial sums of money that are being spent for buying his artworks.
Indeed, artworks by Jeff Koons are often among most expensive works being sold at auctions. Being very creative and productive, Koons is probably best known for his reproductions of banal objects, such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror-finish surfaces.
In this article, we'll focus on famous Jeff Koons’ balloon dogs. Balloon Dog, which formed part of Koons’ Celebration series in 1994, is part of a series of five colored sculptures in red, magenta, blue, orange and yellow. The Balloon Dog sculptures have been exhibited across the world, from the Grand Canal in Venice to the roof terrace of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Asked to say something about this series of works, Koons said:
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.
And thanks to the Balloon Dog sculptures, he became an author of the most expensive piece of art by a living sculptor sold at auction. So, take a look at our list of the most expensive Jeff Koons Balloon Dog Pieces at auctions, and you will find out what is the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.
Balloon Dog (Red) from 2008 as offset in color was put on sale at Nagel Stuttgart in April 2010, and was sold for $540, or 47% below the low estimate. It was quite disappointing result. However, the artwork was put on sale at Ketterer Munich, where it was sold for $2,320, which wasn’t good result either. The hammer price was 11% below the high estimated value.
Featured image: Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog (Red) from 2008. Image courtesy of Liveauctioneers.
Balloon Dog (Red) from 2002 was produced in the edition size of 2300. The medium it was created was porcelain painted metallic on Metal plate. As it is the case with the majority of Koons’ artworks, its art market value has been increasing since it emerged. Until 2010, its hammer prices at auctions were usually around $5,000 (for example, $5,200 at Bukowskis Stockholm in 2009). However, the highest hammer price of the piece exceeded the number of 10,000. At Sotheby’s New York auction in May 2014, it was sold for $15,000, topping the high estimate for 25%.
Featured image: Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog (Red) from 2002 . Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
Balloon Dog (Blue) from 1995 was created in edition size of 2300. Although the size of the edition is quite big, this piece saw some remarkable results. Its hammer price has been constantly increasing. For example, at Cornette De Saint Cyr Paris, it was sold for only $950. Until 2014, the price varied between $10,000 and $14,000 (at Los Angeles Modern Auctions Van Nuys, in early November 2014, it was sold for $14,000). On November 21, 2014, the piece was sold for amazing price. A buyer paid $21,000 at a Bonhams San Francsisco auction, which was 163% above the high estimate value.
Featured image: Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog (Blue) from 1995. Image courtesy of Bonhams.
Balloon Dog (Blue) from 2002 is maybe one of the most wanted balloon dog pieces by Jeff Koons. It was put on sale so many times, and it is difficult even to follow all the trends this artwork had during its presence at art market. The hammer prices has fluctuated a lot. However, the highest hammer price it saw at Artcurial (Briest, Poulain, F.Tajan) Paris, in May 2015, when it was sold for amazing $22,700, topping the high estimate value for 185%.
Featured image: Jeff Koons - Baloon Dog (Blue). Image courtesy of Artcurial.
Balloon Dog (Red) from 1995 was created in the edition size of 2300. The piece is very popular among art collectors – it is regularly offered by different auction houses. For a long time, the average hammer price for the piece was between $10,000 and $15,000. However, at Sotheby’s New York auction in November 2013, it was sold for $42,000 – the highest hammer price of the piece ever seen.
Featured image: Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog (Red) from 1995. Image courtesy of Bonhams.
So, we reached the number one – the famous Balloon Dog (Orange Sculpture) by Jeff Koons. There are five original Balloon Dog Orange Sculptures creates, and one of them broke all the records. In November 2013, it was sold for $52,000,000!!! The piece has become the most expensive piece of art by a living artist. The price topped Koons' previous record of $33.7 million and the record for the most expensive living artist, held by Gerhard Richter, whose 1968 painting, Domplatz, Mailand, was sold for $37.1 million at Sotheby's in May 2013.
Featured image: Jeff Koons- Balloon Dog (Orange), Small Size. Image courtesy of Capitolium Art.