The man’s Balloon Monkey (Orange) sold for a whopping $25.9m (£16.4m) but even this huge amount failed to match the $58.4m (£37m) price paid for Balloon Dog (Orange) last year. The works look pretty much like their namesakes, except that they are several metres high and mirror-finished, not to mention worth more than a private jet.
Koons doesn’t fit easily into any of the artist stereotypes that are bandied around and quite often adhered to these days. He doesn’t have crazy hair, loose wool jumpers or an arrogant and impulsive demeanour. In fact, if you bumped into him in his home town of New York, you may well mistake him for an average Jo popping out of his office for a coffee. However, it’s more likely that he’s popped out of his Warhol inspired art factory where he employs 90 to 120 assistants at any one time to enjoy a glass of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, produce of the famous vineyard which recently allowed him to join an exclusive club of artists including Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró who have created label designs for the label’s bottles.
Koons has also collaborated with Lady Gaga, designing the cover of her album ARTPOP and the set of the music video for her song Applause. Perhaps most inspiringly Jeff had the honour of meeting Salvador Dali before his rise to fame. For all this Jeff Koons keeps a low profile both in the media and in the street, perhaps he needs a break from all that is larger than life, including his balloon dogs.