ON EXHIBIT | UP CLOSE WITH JEFF KOONS’ $28 MILLION DOLLAR POPEYE
This has been an epic week of decadent indulgence in the art world with heavy-hitting contemporary art auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips bringing in record prices for blue chip artists after a weeklong feeding frenzy at Frieze NY set the tone for uninhibited spending. Chief among those prime movers is the Prince of Pop, himself, Jeff Koons, whose 2009 masterpiece Popeye, a gorgeous gleaming, mirror-finished stainless steel tribute to the glory of America which had never traded hands on the secondary market before brought in a tidy $28,165,000 (hammer price + buyer’s premium) at Sotheby’s heated Contemporary Art Evening Auction on May 14th. Sure, these prices are crazy, and the great, massive, totally unregulated art market is one of the most mysterious financial institutions of our time and surely one of the signals the impending apocalypse, but it’s fun to watch, and the artwork sure is pretty. Have a look:
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