Check out the Jeff Koons Popeye video below
At 6 feet 5 inches tall and more than 2,000 pounds, the mirror-polished stainless steel Popeye stands proudly in the Wynn Esplanade.
The sculpture took two years to create (2009-2011) and was acquired at auction in May 2014 for a price of $28,115,000. Koons created three versions (plus artist’s proof) of the famed character, one of which now calls Wynn Las Vegas home. The sculpture depicts the spinach-eating sailorman in a vivid spectrum of color.
Since his creation in 1929, Popeye has come to be known as the ultimate American hero. Audiences throughout the country were able to relate to the popular muscle-man and identify with the little guy who became powerful with just a can of spinach.
Popeye came to represent the beginning of Pop Art in the early 60’s when Andy Warhol began depicting him in various paintings. Decades later, Popeye now represents the end of Pop Art with Koons’ latest creation.
“I became drawn to the Popeye image in a very intuitive way,” Koons said. “I wanted to have a dialogue with art history and with Pop Art, and also a dialogue with technology and to deal with the aspect of acceptance.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976. Koons lives and works in New York City. Koons gained acclaim for his public sculptures, such as the monumental floral sculpture Puppy (1992) shown at Rockefeller Center and permanently installed at the Guggenheim Bilbao. Another floral sculpture, Split-Rocker (2000), was installed at the Papal Palace in Avignon, the Palace of Versailles and Fondation Beyeler. Koons has also received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. Most recently, Secretary of State Clinton recognized Koons for his participation in the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies program with the first-ever Medal of Art. In 2009, the Royal Academy of Arts presented Koons with the John Singleton Copley Award, Koons received The Governor’s Awards for the Arts Distinguished Arts Award and President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur.
ABOUT WYNN LAS VEGAS
Wynn and Encore Las Vegas are two luxury hotel and casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. The iconic travel destinations are operated by international resort developer Wynn Resorts, recipient of more Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Awards than any other independent hotel company in the world. Wynn Las Vegas opened on April 28, 2005 and has been recognized as the best resort in Nevada on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” for five consecutive years. The resort features 2,714 lavish guest rooms and suites, more than 111,000 square feet of state-of-the-art casino space, 14 casual and fine dining restaurants, a spa and salon and an on-site Ferrari and Maserati dealership and 18-hole golf course. Wynn Las Vegas is also home to “Le Rêve – The Dream,” an award-winning theatrical experience blending aerial acrobatics, provocative choreography, powerful performances and elaborate effects. Encore, an expansion of Wynn Las Vegas, opened on Dec. 22, 2008. Featuring an additional 2,034 all-suite accommodations, a 72,000-square-foot casino, five restaurants and a spa and salon, Encore is located adjacent to Wynn Las Vegas. Combined, the two resorts boast four distinct nightlife and day club experiences, approximately 283,000 square feet of meeting space and 98,000 square feet of retail space. The resorts feature an array of publicly displayed art, including works by the renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero, Raoul Dufy, Miriam Schapiro, Frank Owen, Tim Bavington, Viola Frey and Kazumi Yoshida.