Design

You Can Now Own Jeff Koons' Balloon Animals Without Being a Billionaire Art Collector

You don't have to be a millionaire-but they still cost a pretty penny.
IMAGE © JEFF KOONS
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As far as contemporary artists go, Jeff Koons is one of the most important figures today. Not to mention, one of, if not the most profitable. Case in point: Last May, his sculpture "Rabbit" fetched $91.1 million at Christie's, setting the auction record for the most expensive work by a living artist.

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Balloon Rabbit (Violet) porcelain limited edition by Jeff Koons x Bernardaud
Photo by © Jeff Koons.

So it comes as no surprise that Koons' most popular works cost millions. What's more, you'll be hard-pressed to find space to display his works, owing to his sculptures' colossal sizes. (His balloon dog stands more than 10 feet tall.) And even if you're willing to pay top price for a Koons, you're in for some competition since pretty much everyone is scrambling to own one.

It's here that Bernardaud comes in. Known for manufacturing the finest porcelain, the French brand has collaborated with the celebrated artist to turn his stainless steel masterpieces into limited-edition porcelain sculptures. Of his collaboration with the brand, Koons says he's always been intrigued by porcelain and its economic and sexual aspects. "Porcelain shrinks in the oven; therefore, there is a tightness to the material." He continues, "Porcelain was the emperor's material but today it has been democratized and everybody can enjoy porcelain."

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Balloon Swan (Magenta) porcelain limited edition by Jeff Koons x Bernardaud
Photo by © Jeff Koons.

The porcelain balloon animals are a rendition of Koons' sculptures of the same name. The series is inspired by a childhood memory while the color-coated chrome has been a recurring motif in the artist's work. The first of the series, "Balloon Swan," was made in 2004. "'Balloon Swan' harmonizes sexual energy. If you look at it from the front, it’s totem-like and male. If you go to the side it becomes female. 'Balloon Swan' is reminiscent of classical works, it defines beauty as sexual harmony," he shares.

In total, there are three different animals in the collection: The rabbit, swan, and monkey which have been done in the colors magenta, violet, orange, red, yellow, and blue. Seeing as there is a great demand for the collaboration, however, locally, Rustan's only has a selection of pieces which includes the rabbit in violet, the swan in magenta, and the monkey in orange. The prices for each vary, but they start at P800,000. 

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Balloon Monkey (Orange) porcelain limited edition by Jeff Koons x Bernardaud
Photo by © Jeff Koons.

Rustan's Makati, Courtyard Drive corner Ayala Avenue, Makati

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Paolo Chua
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