One of Jeff Koons’ iconic balloon sculptures will fly across the block for a good cause.
On June 28, Christie’s will launch tenders for Balloon Monkey (Magenta) in its 20th/21st century: London Evening Sale. The current owners, billionaire Victor Pinchuk and his wife Olena Pinchuk, are selling the sculpture to raise funds for humanitarian aid to people directly affected by the war in Ukraine. Proceeds from the sale will be used to help soldiers and civilians who have been injured during the conflict and who need prosthetics, medical care and rehabilitation services. The massive artwork, which stands nearly 20 feet tall, is expected to fetch up to $12.6 million when it crosses the block.
The Balloon Monkey (Magenta) is one of five such sculptures in a series created by Koons; the other four come in blue, yellow, red, and orange. (The orange edition sold in November 2014 for a whopping $25.9 million.) In a statement to Christie’s, Koons said the sculpture represents a “profound affirmation that art is not only what we see, but what happens inside”. In this case, the work will also represent a means of materially helping the men, women and children affected by a three-month-old war.
“With the proceeds from the auction, we can help save lives,” Victor Pinchuk said in a statement. “We can help rebuild lives destroyed by war. Dozens, maybe hundreds of lives, each of which has value beyond words. by Jeff Koons Balloon Monkey (Magenta) is a celebration of life. We put life and hope against death and suffering. In art and in action.
Since Russia first invaded Ukraine on February 24, the Ukrainian billionaire and Ms Pinchuk have raised more than $30 million to support war victims through their respective foundations. Launched in 2003, the Olena Pinchuk Foundation helps fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, while the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, established in 2006, aims to empower young changemakers from Ukraine and beyond. Amid the current conflict, the two organizations have used their contributions to help deliver medical kits to soldiers and civilians, and to support 40 hospitals across the country.
“Victor and Olena Pinchuk have worked tirelessly to galvanize humanitarian aid for Ukraine, so it is a sincere privilege to have my artwork Balloon Monkey (Magenta) auctioned at Christie’s in support of their extraordinary efforts,” Koons said in a statement. “The true value of art is to be of service to humanity and there could be no higher calling right now than to support the people of Ukraine.”
You can place your bids on Balloon Monkey (Magenta) at Christie’s 20th/21st Century: London Evening Sale on June 28.