Koons Balloon Monkey on Offer at Christie's to Raise Money for Ukraine

Victor Pinchuk will use proceeds from the sale to help wounded receive medical treatment, rehabilitation and prosthetics.

Marion Maneker

Tue, Jun 07, 2022

Koons Balloon Monkey on Offer at Christie's to Raise Money for Ukraine

Christie's announced that Victor Pinchuk and his wife Olena are selling their Jeff Koons Balloon Monkey (Magenta) in London later this month with a £6 million ($7.5 million) estimate. The large sculpture will be on view outside of Christie's in St. James Square from June 14 to July 3rd. The sale takes place on June 28th. 

The Pinchuks have pledged the proceeds to be used for humanitarian aid for Ukraine, particularly to help soldiers and civilians seriously wounded in the war get medical treatment, rehabilitation and prosthetics. 

Christie's has taken the unusual step in its release to emphasize the much greater selling prices of Koons balloon sculptures the auction house has sold. In the Summer of 2008, Christie's sold Balloon Flower (Magenta) for $25.7 million. Six years later, Balloon Monkey (Orange) was sold in New York for $25.9 million

The difference between these auction prices and the estimate on Balloon Flower (Magenta) is surely meant to highlight the opportunity for a collector who is looking for Koons balloon work. But the estimate also underscores the fact that few of these works have been sold in recent years. Koons’s studio had become embroiled in conflicts with collectors due to long delays in delivery. Much of that has receded into the past and there may be a new group of collectors keen on owning a balloon work by the artist. 

At the height of demand for these works, Balloon Flower (Blue) sold at Christie’s for $16.8 million in 2010 and Balloon Swan (Yellow) sold for $14.7 million in 2015.