Guffwatch - Koons special

October 30 2012

Video: Christie's

I always love the contrast in these videos between artists speaking guff, and the Christie's suits trying desperately to explain why the guff is worth millions of dollars. In this case, the 'piece' is so special it's catalogued as 'estimate on request'. And if you need to request, you can't afford it.

For more guff, check out the lot notes for Tulips (which, inevitably contains the word 'iconic' not once but twice). Here's a good couple of lines:

It is an enchanting sculpture that casts the illusion of joyous weightlessness but is paradoxically heavy, employing over three tons of meticulously sculpted stainless steel. This is a multivalent sculpture, operating on a number of different levels from the simple and directly arresting visual beauty of the object and its awe-inspiring scale, to the ground-breaking complexity of its fabrication and to the deep conceptual themes which lie beneath its apparently flawless surface.

Update - Dr Ben Harvey tweets:

The tulip, symbol of deluded markets and vastly overinflated prices?

Ah, but it's multivalent you see - so it could be a symbol of anything.

Update II - In The Star Ledger, Dan Bischoff tells us that Tulips is (are?) being sold by Norddeutsche Landesbank, and is slated to fetch up to $20m. It was bought for $2.2m in 2002:

“Tulips” has been on display in the bank’s courtyard in the German city of Hanover since it was bought for $2.2 million in 2002. The bank hopes to raise $20 million in the sale, which gives some idea of the incredible price spike we’ve seen over the past 10 years for contemporary art.

Banks, Koons, profit, guff - Tulips presents a good narrative of all that's crazy in the art world.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.