All aboard the booze train. A Jeff Koons steel-and-bourbon sculpture sold for $37.765 million on Tuesday, according to New York auction house Christie’s.
Sculptor Jeff Koons created just three of his “Jim Beam J.B. Turner” trains. The 9 1/2-foot stainless steel trains are filled with Jim Beam bourbon.
Christie’s has Koons’ description of the work:
"I was walking down Fifth Avenue and I saw in a liquor store this train that was made out of plastic and porcelain. It was a Jim Beam train. What caught my interest was the possibility to transform it and to cast it in stainless steel and bring it to a mirror finish, but to also maintain the soul of the piece, which was the liquor inside. So, after the train was cast, it was sent back to Jim Beam where they refilled each car with a fifth of Bourbon, and the tax-stamp seal was on. You can drink it and enjoy the bourbon, but you have killed the work of art because you've destroyed the soul of the piece when you break the tax-stamp seal" (Jeff Koons exh. cat. San Francisco MoMA, 1992, n.p.).
The piece was expected to fetch about $25 million, according to an Associated Press report.