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Jeff Koons Balloon Flower

Jeff Koons
Balloon Flower (Blue), 1995-2000
high chromium stainless steel, mirrored polish finish with transparent color coating
133 7/8x 112 1/4x 102 3/8 in. (340 x 285 x 260 cm.)

It may be hard to phantom today but the iconic Balloon Flower sculpture nearly bankrupted Jeff Koons at the time it was created due to the extremely costly production process (production cost was estimated to be around $1 million dollar).  But 10 years after it's creation, Jeff Koons reaped the benefits, big time. 

Jeff Koons’ magnificent Balloon Flower (Blue) was sold at Christie’s New York’s November 2010 during their Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale. The work, executed between 1995-2000 had an estimate from $12,000,000 to $16,000,000 but after a short bidding between two bidders the work was eventually sold for $15,000.00 excluding buyer's premium.

Balloon Flower (Blue) is one of Koons’ most important outdoor sculptures and belongs to his acclaimed and beloved Celebration series, which has contributed to the artist’s global status and taken his market to the highest level at auction. In July 2008 Koons’ Balloon Flower (Magenta), 1995-2000, another unique version of this sculpture, broke a world record for the artist at auction, selling at Christie’s London for $25,752,051. There are only five Balloon Flowers in existence, each a different color.

Jeff Koons’ Celebration series is inspired by the trappings of holidays, birthdays and other special occasions. Koons rendered these works with brilliant reflective surfaces and vibrant colors that suggest a perpetual cycle of happiness and optimism. Other large-scale sculptures in the Celebration series include hanging hearts, diamonds and balloon dogs.

Images of flowers have played an especially important role in Koons’ work over the course of his career. Balloon Flower, for Koons, specifically commemorates the springtime when blossoms begin to grow, and the optimism that accompanies that moment of the year. As Koons once stated, “I have always enjoyed flowers. Since taking art lessons as a child, I have had flowers in my work. I always like the sense that a flower just displays itself. The viewer always finds grace in a flower. Flowers are a symbol that life goes forward.”

A highlight of the Daimler Art Collection, Balloon Flower (Blue), was acquired directly from the artist and has for many years graced Berlin’s famous Potsdamer Platz. Its monumental curves, with their idiosyncratic reflections of the surrounding cityscape, made it a notable landmark of contemporary art in the city.

The Daimler Art Collection is part of the automobile company Daimler AG, and was founded over 30 years ago. It comprises almost 2,000 works by over 700 international artists, and has a long established exhibition and global education program. A selection of the collection has been traveling throughout the world and has been on display in major international museums in Germany, Austria, Spain, the United States, South Africa, Japan, Brazil and Argentina, where it has attracted over 500,000 visitors and nearly 50,000 students for its education program. Approximately 30 works of museum quality are acquired each year by the Collection. The proceeds from the sale of Balloon Flower (Blue) will be used to develop the Daimler Art Collection’s commitment to art and securing its long term future.

"It is an honor to be entrusted with the sale of this magnificent sculpture for such a worthy institution as The Daimler Art Collection." says Brett Gorvy, International Co-head of Contemporary Art and Deputy Chairman, Americas. "Balloon Flower (Blue) is one of the most important sculptures by Jeff Koons and it has long been a beloved landmark in Berlin. We look forward to showcasing it for the first time in America in Rockefeller Plaza, where its beauty and perfection will delight the public and make it the most talked about object for sale this season."