Jeff Koons' Balloon Monkey valued at $30m in Christie's sale

Jeff Koons, the world's most valuable living artist, will return to Christie's with his Balloon Monkey (Orange) this November 12, as the highlight of the Post-War and Contemporary Art auction in New York.

The piece was made for a major art collector, but was too large for the intended space

The work is from the same series as Koons' Balloon Dog, which sold at Christie's in 2013 for $58.4m - the highest price paid at auction for a work of art by a living artist. The present piece is expected to sell for $20-30m.

Balloon Monkey is one of five created, each in a unique colour. It measures 20ft long and is made from high chromium stainless steel in a transparent colour coating.

It was made for Frank Cohen, the founder of a DIY store chain and a top collector of contemporary art. However, having waited for eight years, Cohen then discovered it was too large to fit into the Dairy Art Centre in London, a free gallery in which he had intended to display it.

Cohen then attempted to find a home for the piece by contacting museums, but rather than keep it in storage, he has decided to consign it to the sale.

"Part of its magic lies in the paradoxical interplays between lightness and weight, solidity and suggested transparency, and imposing permanence combined with transient reflections," writes Christie's.

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