Launching like an IPO, another edition of Jeff Koons’ porcelain Balloon Dog plates are available through the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The series is produced by French porcelain maker Bernardaud.
Above image: Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Yellow), 2015, porcelain, 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 5 inches. Image courtesy of MOCA.
This month, the museum will sell 2,300 of the plates for a scant $8,000 each. The proceeds go to the museum’s endowment, meaning the project will raise $18.4 million. The plates are a reference to the larger Balloon Dog piece which was part of the artist’s Celebration series. The museum quotes Koons:
“Balloon Dog is a very optimistic piece, its a balloon that a clown would have maybe twist for you at a birthday party. But at the same time there’s the profoundness of an archaic sculpture. The piece has an interior life while the reflective exterior surface affirms the viewer through their reflection. The porcelain only accentuates the sexuality of the piece. For Balloon Dog (Yellow), it’s been a pleasure working with Bernardaud, who proudly work with only the finest materials, innovative processes, and artisan talent. Their experience in porcelain dates back 150 years. Since the creation of Balloon Dog (Red) and Balloon Dog (Blue), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, has been involved in the distribution of the editions so I’m pleased to partner with MOCA to be supportive of their endeavors.”
For CFile, the new edition is another opportunity to enjoy the shenanigans that accompany the release of a Balloon Dog series. MOCA seems to be priming us by accompanying every instance of Koons’ name with a copyright symbol. Perhaps this is a reference to some problems surrounding Balloon Dog that surfaced last year. Artnet enlightens us:
“Around the same time, artnet News flagged some decidedly illicit balloon dogs that were being offered through a company called VLA Sculpture on Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba.com. In 2011, the artist called dibs on all balloon dogs forever, having sent cease and desist letters to San Francisco-based Park Life because they were selling balloon dog bookends (one site deemed this an act of “megalomaniac delusion“).
As a struggling artist, Koons clearly felt a need to protect his intellectual property, especially when earlier versions of Balloon Dog sell for a meager $58 million at auction. Tragic. He withdrew the claim but if he wants to refile CFile is aware of someone in downtown Santa Fe who makes balloon animals for kids. We’d drop the dime on this guy if ©©©Jeff Koons’©©© lawyers want to make us a deal. Also below you will find a wry comment on this issue from painter David Lyle .
Bill Rodgers© is the General Editor© of CFile©.
Love contemporary ceramic art + design? Let us know in the comments.