Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog sells for record $58m along with Francis Bacon's Freud portraits
The artwork, which was auctioned in the same lot as Francis Bacon's triptych of Lucian Freud, has become the most expensive piece of art by a living artist
Jeff Koons’ 12 foot sculpture "Balloon Dog" has broken records to become the most expensive piece of art by a living artist sold at auction.
The giant stainless steel sculpture sold for $58.4 million (£36.8m) at an auction at Christie’s in New York last night.
The previous record for a living artist was set by a Gerhard Richter painting depicting an Italian city square, which sold in May for $37.1 million (£23.3m).
“Balloon Dog”, which formed part of Koons’ “Celebration” series in 1994, is part of a series of five coloured sculptures in red, magenta, blue, orange and yellow.
The "Ballon 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.
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.”
Koons' 'Balloon Dog' on show in Versailles
The 58-year-old US artist, who has often worked with inflatable scultpures, said: “The reason that I enjoy things that involve air is they’re a symbol of us. We’re breathing machines, we’re inflatables, we take air.”
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 (£89.6m) million.
The triptych by Francis Bacon is the most expensive artwork to ever sell at a public auction.
Paul Cezanne’s painting “The Card Players” remains the most expensive painting ever, having been bought for $259 million in a private sale in 2011.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Goodfellas star Frank Sivero sues for $250m over Simpsons character
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
Breaking Bad season 6 hoax: Vince Gilligan has not confirmed a new series
MOBO awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with another double elimination
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'