Jeff Koons is one of the world’s most controversial and coveted artists.

His 11-foot tall aluminum Play-Doh sculpture was the highlight of the Jeff Koons retrospective held at the Whitney in 2014. Play-Doh, was inspired, in the early ’90s, by a pile of Play-Doh that Koons’ toddler son, Ludwig, put together and proudly displayed for his father.

The first Play-Doh sculpture took almost twenty years to produce, because of the difficulty of getting the texture just right and then creating more than two dozen solid, interlocking sections that fit perfectly.

A version of Play-Doh is going to be auctioned at Christie’s in New York on May 17. The doors of the auction house had to be widened to accommodate the 12 x 10 foot sculpture.

The low estimate for the Play-Doh sculpture is $20 million dollars. The auction record for a Jeff Koons was set in 2013 when Balloon Dog (Orange), 1994–2000, sold for $58.4 million at Christie’s New York.

Jeff Koons: Hot in Manila

Jeff Koons original, enormous balloon sculptures were done in stainless steel. Koons decided to create smaller balloon sculptures in porcelain so he partnered with Bernardaud, the biggest and oldest porcelain company in Limoges, France.

It took Bernardaud a few years to create the mirror finish that is essential to Koons’ work. The company is now having a problem…not with the porcelain…but with the demand for the sculptures.

Forty of the balloon sculptures were recently sent to a gallery in Manila and were sold out in just four hours.

The Rabbit (for sale at VFA) is the most popular in Manila, possibly because it is so close to Easter, but the Dog, Monkey and Swan (also available at VFA) are close behind.

Smashed in Amsterdam

One of Jeff Koons’ gazing balls paintings has been on exhibit since February at Nieuwe Kerk, a 15th-century church in Amsterdam.  Gazing Ball (Perugino Madonna and Child with Four Saints) was the only work being shown. On the last day of the exhibit, April 8th, a visitor couldn’t resist touching the blue glass ball attached to the painting…and it shattered.

Sotheby’s estimates the value of the Gazing Ball paintings at $1,800,000 — $2,500,000.

Jeff Koons at VFA

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