Contemporary Art Smashes $2 Billion Mark Creating New World Auction Record

Jeff Koons’s monumental sculpture Balloon Dog (Orange) has set a new world auction record for a living artist. The iconic work by the controversial American artist achieved the sum of $58,405,000 – that being £36,795,150, or €43,219,700, at Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Evening Sale in New York on November 12, 2013. According to new figures released on Tuesday; the contemporary art market has experienced a record-breaking year in 2013 to 2014. The market has smashed through the $2 billion mark for the first time.

Koons is an American artist known for his reproductions of pop art-style banal objects – such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror-finish surfaces. He lives and works in both New York City and his hometown of York, Pennsylvania. The artist’s works have sold for substantial sums of money.

The greatest auction stars remain US artists. They are the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons and Christopher Wool – according to ‘Artprice’ the Paris-based organisation, holding the largest database on the contemporary art market.

Koons, will be the subject of a major retrospective due to be held at Paris’s Pompidou Centre at the end of November. The artist’s “Balloon Dog” went under the hammer in November 2013 at Christie’s in New York, for a record $58.4 million; making Koons the artist who currently holds the record for the most expensive work of art by a living artist ever sold at auction.

Sales of contemporary art at public auctions reached $2.046 billion dollars, this is up 40 percent on the previous year. Thirteen pieces of art alone fetched more than 10 million euros ($12.8 million) each on the market. Out of artists born after 1945, of the top-selling three artists; Basquiat remains the leader with sales worth around 162 million euros. Koons and Wool come in a close second with 115 million euros and 61 million euros ($78 million) respectively.


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