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Christie’s to Offer Giant Play-Doh for $20m

Christie’s to Offer Giant Play-Doh  for $20mChristie’s to Offer Giant Play-Doh  for $20m

When the Whitney Museum of American Art staged its blockbuster retrospective of American pop artist Jeff Koons in 2014, the most photographed work was undeniably ‘Play-Doh’ (1994–2014), an 11-foot-tall (3.5 meters) aluminum sculpture that looked as if a young giant had created a multicolored pile of clay and then left it behind. Now, a version of that candy-hued work is heading to auction. Christie’s will offer an edition of ‘Play-Doh’ at its evening sale of postwar and contemporary art in New York on May 17. The work, consigned from a European collection, is expected to sell for a price “in the region of $20 million.” This marks the first time that a Play-Doh sculpture, one of five unique versions from the artist’s notoriously ambitious and pricey “Celebration” series (each one featuring different colors), has come up for auction. The technology needed to create the sculpture’s unique cracked texture - which really does look like the dried surface of play-doh – did not exist when Koons, now 63, first conceived the work, according to Artnet. Rather than opt for a hollow sculpture, which would have drastically cut down on the production time and cost, the artist insisted on creating a real “pile.” From a plaster mold, his team created more than two dozen interlocking sections of painted aluminum that are designed to fit together perfectly. Gravity alone holds the blocks in place. It will be on public view from April 13 to April 19, April 28 to May 5, and again during 20th Century week leading up to the auction (May 12–17).

 

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