When Jeff Koons’ “Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold)” sold at auction in 2007 to dealer Larry Gagosian for $23 million, Forbes magazine called the work — its sale price a record for a living artist — “a dazzling piece of eye candy.”
Now, a piece from the artist’s heart series — “Hanging Heart (Gold/Magenta)” — can be seen at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which today announced its acquisition, directly from the artist. The stainless steel heart is 9 and a half feet wide and is suspended from the ceiling of Eleven, the museum’s restaurant. At 3,000 pounds, the artwork required that an engineer be called in to install it.
A CBM press release says the piece is “one of five versions created by Koons, each with a different transparent color coating. It is the only one, however, that was retained by the artist until sold directly to Crystal Bridges in 2013. The Hanging Heart sculptures are part of the series titled Celebration, which began in 1994, and were meant to embody the various celebratory events of a lifetime. Other works in the series include the well-known Balloon Dog, Diamond, and Cracked Egg, each in five unique versions. Other color combinations of Hanging Heart include red with a gold ribbon, magenta with gold, blue with silver, and violet with gold.”
“Balloon Dog,” you will recall, created quite a stir in France when it was hung at Versailles.
Koons and museum president Don Bacigalupi comment on the sale in the press release:
“Hanging Heart, ultimately, is a symbol of warmth, humanity, spirituality, and romance,” Koons said. “I’m thrilled to have this major piece in a location in the U.S. where the sculpture will interact with the public. It offers an opportunity for many people to view the work in a space that has a sense of not only romantic but also spiritual transcendence.”
“Koons has been a monumental figure in art of the last 25 years,” said Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi. “Many think of him as the heir to the Warhol legacy, advancing the tradition of Pop Art in taking everyday imagery into a much different realm. We’re pleased to be able to share this sculpture with our guests.”
The installation picture will give you some idea of the size of this piece: