I was sorting through copies of the New York Times that were to be put out with the trash this week and ran into a full page ad, from Christie’s showing this picture:
Here is the ad copy:
Christie’s Announces Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog (Orange) THE STAGE IS SET TO MAKE HISTORY Be part of this landmark auction – November 16, JEFF KOONS (B. 1955) Balloon Dog (Orange) mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating. 121x143x45 in. Executed (in 1994-2000) $35,000,000–55,000,000
OK. Bear with me now. Check this out (click on it to see the larger size if you care to):
While I was at the Huffington Post, which had a recent article on this phenom, I glanced down at the 22 largest art sales figures for the past several years at Christies, ranging from $20M to $100M. Other than those whose names are super famous, like Rothko, Miro, Pollack, and even including their work, most of this ‘art’ looked like nothing much to my apparently ignorant eye. In fact, other than one representational piece by Constable and Monet’s impression of lilies, I would not be too keen to have any of them hanging on my walls. I do like Rothko, I just don’t have a modern house. I guess I could put him in one of our bathrooms (they are very nice bathrooms, I am sure he would be pleased to know).
When I took the picture of Tom Ford’s window on Rodeo in Beverly Hills recently, I laughed derisively perhaps (was it amusement or snark?) at the dog sculptures. The outfit was crazy enough, but, what was up with those dogs, I thought in my linear, conventional, middle-aged mind. Phew. I am sooo not plugged in to the art world. I may have heard the name Jeff Koons (or is it Dean Koons? Whatever…) but not in a thrillion years would I guess that a large, christmas-ornament fluorescent dog-for-pete-sake simulation of a carnival toy could be auctioned for, [swallowing hard], $55 MILLION dollars.
Is it me? Is this my closet marx showing? My plebeian tastes? Lack of wit? I think these things look ridiculous.
Well wait, now, not so fast, Beth. We may just be on to something here. With a little sleuthing, I am finding this rubberized canine passion is actually a thing. Check this out, looks serious:
And, ever heard of artist Robert C. Jackson and his balloon dog series? Read about it at Jocundist.
Coincidentally, I happened to hear that a new biography of beloved Jim Henson, who SNL’s John Belushi once irreverently introduced as that “Mucking Fuppet” (I am only quoting here), has just come out. I may be wrong, but, given the sheer volume of joy, mirth and kindness Henson spread through his imagination and genius, what could make Koons’s single work worth exponentially more?
I have a good mind to call Tom Ford (the store, not the guy, if there is such a guy) and ask how much they want for that store display. Waddya think? A C-note? A grand? Or should I wait (as one of my sage friends here once advised me – thank you Marey) for the approach of the holidays? Surely the window will be changed, and I might snag this treasure buried in the rear alley.