Casino and hotel magnate Steve Wynn bought Jeff Koons’ stainless steel sculpture ‘Popeye’ for $28 million at Sotheby’s this week in New York. Originally estimated to sell for $25 million, Wynn upped the price for the 6.5-foot-tall statue of the iconic cartoon character.
Koons created the statue from 2009 to 2011, which features the muscle man holding an open can of spinach. Below is the auction house’s description of the statue:
“We can’t help but relate to the artist’s monumental interpretation of Popeye, the cartoon sailor and icon of 20th-century popular culture. Over life-size, rendered in stainless steel and finished in kaleidoscopic, mirror-polished glazes, the seven-foot-high figure embodies the artist’s signature brand of Pop art in the spirit of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Triumphantly squeezing open a can of spinach, Popeye is simultaneously Everyman and Superman.”
Alex Rotter, Sotheby’s New York co-head of contemporary art, said at the press conference that Koons’ Popeye staue would soon be on display at one of Wynn’s Las Vegas hotels, “which is gonna be awesome.”
Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening auction occurred on 14 May, 2014. Wynn made his winning bid via the phone, while Marc Jacobs, Mary-Kate Olsen and Daniel Loeb watched the sale.