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    Jeff Koons Popeye signed, dated 2009-2011 and numbered 3/3.

    Jeff Koons
    signed, dated 2009-2011 and numbered 3/3.  UPDATE: IT MADE $28,165,000

    AN immaculate, gleaming, seven-foot tall statue of Popeye by Jeff Koons comes up at Sotheby’s New York evening auction of contemporary art on May 14.  The cartoon character and American pop culture icon is Koons’ most accomplished and major work of recent years. It is from an edition of three and no example has appeared at auction until now. The present Popeye has never been exhibited publicly, and will make its debut in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries on May 2.  The estimate is in the region of $25 million.

    Flawlessly finished in kaleidoscope glazes Popeye stands at the culmination of a long line of sculptures in which Koons has sought to re-frame the terms of high art for the masses. Originally conceived in 1929 as part of a newspaper comic strip Popeye became a cultural phenomenon during the Great Depression. Ordinary, tough, resilient, confident and super strong Popeye personified the American dream. Koons began referencing Popeye in 2000 but it was not until 2009 that he reappropriated this American champion in heroic sculptural over life size form as an icon for a new millennium.

    Alex Rotter, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Contemporary Art Department, commented: “The history of Pop Art begins and ends with Popeye. From his first representations by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol in the 1960s, to the present three-dimensional crescendo by Jeff Koons a half century later, this ultimate American hero and self-made man has remained a true icon of both art history and popular culture.”

    Here is a video about the the work:

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