Auctioneering: Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog (Orange)” ____________ “the Holy Grail of art” Christie’s inflated hype reaches new heights


The art market is full of hype – so much so that even that statement in itself is more than a trifle … understated, but Christie’s recent press materials for their auction of Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog (Orange)” have pushed the limits of brazen immodesty generating in the process a fair amount of bewilderment and scorn on the internets.

Christie’s gushes unabashedly about the 3-meter tall sculpture which is going to the block in November, and is expected to fetch between $35 and $55 million, calling it “the Holy Grail of art” and “the most beloved of all contemporary sculptures.”

And somehow, in the ecstatic heat of the moment, the auction giant manages to misspell Koons’ name – repeatedly.

We could go on, decrying with heartfelt shock and dismay the sorry state of the auction market for contemporary art, but instead reprint the press materials in toto, so that you, dear reader, can experience the full bewilderment and scorn directly:


On November 12th, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale promises to be a landmark occasion for the art market when Christie’s will offer Jeff Koons’s (sic) Balloon Dog (Orange), one of the most recognizable images in today’s canon of art history. This monumental work, with its flawless reflective surface and glorious color, is the most beloved of all contemporary sculptures. Its spectacular form has been celebrated around the world, having graced the rooftop of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Venice’s Grand Canal, and Versailles Palace outside Paris. It has become an icon of Popular vernacular, adored by the public and collectors for its unabashed celebration of childhood, hope and innocence.
Creating the illusion of weightlessness with reflective stainless steel of gigantic proportions, the work is considered the supreme example from Koon’s (sic) highly desired and acclaimed Celebration Series, begun in the early 1990s. The series evolved from Koons’s (sic) desire to recreate the ecstatic experiences of a child’s enjoyment of the world with universal signifiers.
Balloon Dog (Orange) was one of the first of the Balloon Dogs to be fabricated, and was acquired by Greenwich collector Peter Brant in the late 1990s. As well as owning the foremost collection of works by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat in private hands, Brant’s focus as a pioneering collector and passion for artists such as Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Julian Schnabel, John Currin and Elizabeth Peyton has had a major impact on their markets and amongst collectors inspired by his vision. Balloon Dog (Orange) is part of the Brant Collection and proceeds from the sale will be used to help fund future activities of The Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, CT.”

Visit Christie’s website for more overblown hype… er information, linked here.

Previously on Art is Life:

Jeff Koons’ Pink “Balloon Venus” x Limited Edition Dom Pérignon 2003 Rosé

The US Department of State awards Jeff Koons a medal (!) – he still believes “…Americans are more intimidated by art (than Europeans)”

Jeff Koons, Painter, Sculptor, King of Kitsch … and “The Most Expensive Living Artist in the World” clobbers Europe with a cyclopean double exhibition in Frankfurt

Robert Hughes: on the Business of Art… and on Hype … “isn’t it a miracle how much money and so little ability can produce?”

Robert Hughes, “the greatest art critic of our time” … on Pop Art and Andy Warhol

Auctioneering! Picasso’s Dream crushes all records – becomes the single most expensive work of art at auction

Auctioneering! Love for Sale – Famous lovers’ portraits lead exceptionally strong Auction sales

Auctioneering & Iconoclasmism – now blended together! Picasso’s Muse, and a Private Collector’s Collection of Ceramics go to auction… oh, and the “Conquista” Vandal … turns himself in

Auctioneering! Warhol beats Picasso, becomes “Most Sold Artist of 2012″ … also besting the great Chinese artists of yesteryear’s Art Market tally

논란을 즐겼던 예술가 앤디워홀 … and also “The Future that Was”

Auctioneering! The world’s largest art market continues to grow – amid accusations of corruption and fakery

Auctioneering! – Clapton’s Richter painting Rocks the Hammer at $34,190,756, Warhol’s 1978 Self-Portrait … underperforms … at $771,732

Auctioneering! Wassily Kandinsky’s 1909 ‘Studie für Improvisation 8′ sells for a record breaking $23,042,500

Auctioneering! Warhol’s Mao portrait from 1973 sells at auction for its “low $12m estimate”

One thought on “Auctioneering: Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog (Orange)” ____________ “the Holy Grail of art” Christie’s inflated hype reaches new heights

  1. Koons’ work embodies the art markets’ high decadence. What will the fall look like? Will there be another rebirth?

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