An Orange Balloon Dog Sold for $58.4M So Here Are 10 Other Cool Jeff Koons Balloon Pieces


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Balloon Dog Orange
Christie's / AP

Balloon Dog (Orange)

At Christie’s Tuesday night, Balloon Dog (Orange) by Jeff Koons — an American artist known for brightly colored reflective sculptures that resemble balloons — was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $58.4 million, surpassing initial $55 million estimates to become “the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction,” according to the New York Times.

(WATCH: 10 Questions for Jeff Koons)

The stainless steel sculpture with transparent color coating is one of the first balloon dogs, which look like the kind of souvenir clowns make at birthday parties. Other pups have been on display around the world in red, green, and blue — not to mention a shiny pink one made it to Versailles in 2008.

Stephen Colbert probably summed up the meaning of Koons’s balloon animals best in an interview with the artist on The Colbert Report last year. “A lot of them are shiny, you know,” Colbert observed, “so when I look at them I can see me, and then I’m really interested in it.” Koons agreed, arguing “art happens inside the viewer… and the art is your sense of your own potential as a person.” These reflective balloon sculptures “just trigger that information in you.”

On a more somber note, Koons added, “I’ve always enjoyed balloon animals because they’re like us. We’re balloons. You take a breath and you inhale, it’s an optimism. You exhale, and it’s kind of a symbol of death.” (And somewhere, a clown just cried…)

Below is a glimpse at other noteworthy balloon sculptures by Koons in recent years:


Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

(L-R) Balloon Swan (Blue), Ballon Monkey (Red)Balloon Rabbit (Yellow) at the Gagosian Gallery in New York City on May 9, 2013.


Daniel Roland / AFP / Getty Images

Jeff Koons himself poses in front of Balloon Venus, flanked by Roman marbles, at the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 19, 2012. It’s a play on “Venus of Willendorf,” a curvaceous female figure made in the Paleolithic period that is thought to symbolize fertility.

Dom Pérignon Balloon Venus by Jeff Koons

Michel Fainsilber

smaller version of the Venus with a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne inside went on sale in September 2013 and costs 15,000 euros (about $20,000).



This shocking pink Balloon Dog photographed on September 9, 2008, at the Château de Versailles sparked controversy as some visitors said the work was crude and too modern for Louis XIV’s former palace.


Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

Sacred Heart (Red/Gold) at the roof garden of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on April 21, 2008.


Michael Gottschalk / AFP / Getty Images

Tulips and Balloon Flower pictured on October 29, 2008, at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.


Hiroko Masuike / Getty Images

A balloon in the literal sense, the silver Rabbit designed by Koons floats through Times Square during the 81st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2007.