Katya Kazakina has the two big Koons works being offered this November in the wake of the Whitney’s retrospective. Christie’s is hoping the Manchester super-collector Frank Cohen’s Balloon Monkey (Orange) will be seen as a success to the Balloon dog it sold from Peter Brant even though the monkey comes from a different series. Not to be left out, Sotheby’s secured a yellow version of the Celebration-series Moon which was the site of so many selfies at the Whitney:
“It was always considered very desirable because you can hang it on the wall,” Rotter said. “I chased it for a long time.”
The saga of the balloon monkey has some interesting unresolved questions, like why no museum took it when offered:
“So many of our clients are looking for large-scale, outdoor sculpture whether it’s by Koons or Calder,” Gorvy said.
For six weeks starting Oct. 6, the 12.5-foot-tall, 20-foot-long “Balloon Monkey (Orange)” will be displayed in front of Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza headquarters.
“It’s an incredible outdoor piece,” said Nicolai Frahm, who co-founded with Cohen the Dairy Art Centre near the British Museum in London in 2013 and who confirmed Cohen is selling it. “He originally had a specific place for it, which didn’t work out. It’s too massive, unfortunately. He thought it didn’t make sense to keep something incredible like this in storage.”
Cohen unsuccessfully approached a number of museums once he realized the sculpture wouldn’t fit indoors and was “too big for the space outside,” Frahm said. “It would look ridiculous. It could be vandalized.”