Las Vegas’ Giant “Tulips”, For Now

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If you’re in Las Vegas in the next 3 years, take the time to find the passageway between the Wynn and the Encore to see Stephen Wynn’s latest art acquisition, Jeff Koons’ “Tulips”.   You simply can’t miss it.

A long time art collector, Wynn spent $33,682,500 for it.  If you’re worried about Wynn being overextended, don’t.  Last year, according to Wikipedia, he was the 491st richest man in the world with $2.5 billion.  A man with dual citizenship, The U.S. and Monaco, Wynn has been a large part of what makes Las Vegas Las Vegas.  His first venture there was the Golden Nugget, which he took from downtown gambling establishment to buzz-worthy resort hotel.  The Mirage, Treasure Island, and The Bellagio followed, in that order.

On our first night in town, Ruth & I headed for his next Las Vegas properties, Wynn and Encore, to see “Tulips” and talk to personable Mike, who was keeping an eye on it for Stephen.

Mike told us about the Picasso portrait Wynn purchased in 1997 for $48.4 million.  Nine year later he reportedly was getting ready to sell it for $139 million, which then would have been the highest price ever paid for a piece of art, but he put his elbow through the canvas while showing it to guests. Mike said that his boss’ eyesight is deteriorating and I theorized that this partially explained his attraction to “Tulips”.

Made of stainless steel, “Tulips” weighs 3 tons, and is a multi-colored, monumental work.  Mike show us his spec sheet which mentioned its high-mirror finish and called it one of the largest sculptures ever created.   The picture above doesn’t do it justice.

Tulips will only be on display near the Wynn Theater rotunda for 3 years because its destiny is to embellish Wynn’s current project, a hotel/casino on The Cotai Strip in Macau.  This is Wynn’s 3rd such venture there and will cost $4 billion.

I would like (I think) to know what Wynn said after removing his elbow from the Picasso and what Koons said when he heard the price Wynn paid for his sculpture, which can’t possibly suffer a similar fate.  See it to understand.  You won’t need a flashlight but sunglasses might help.

Hank

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About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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