Update 2/22/23: While some might assume the destruction of this Koons sculpture to be quite complete, art collectors disagree. Pieces of the smashed "Balloon Dog (Blue)" are now being eyed up by the art community as unique collectors' items.
Stephen Gamson, an artist who witnessed the sculpture's demise, told The Washington Post he wants to add the pieces to his collection of art ephemera. The gallery's manager says Gamson's isn't the only offer they've received for the pieces, either: "some collectors offered to buy the shards and we are still receiving offers as we speak.”
Original 2/19/23: The world is down one Jeff Koons sculpture.
The shattering occurred Thursday night during the VIP-only opening night of Art Wynwood, an annual contemporary art fair in Miami. The cause appears to be disputed, with BBC News alleging the unnamed visitor "tapped" the piece, while CNN reports that they "accidentally" kicked its stand. Either way, the $42,000 piece — one of Koons' hallmark balloon dogs — went tumbling down and into a million pieces.
Cédric Boero, a manager at Bel-Air Fine Art, which was displaying the piece, told CNN the gallery was known as one of the official representatives for Koons' balloon dogs. "Of course it is heartbreaking to see such an iconic piece destroyed," he also told the publication over email, adding, "This kind of thing unfortunately happens, that is why the artwork was covered by insurance."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was still interest in buying the shattered remains of the art. One attendee, a local artist named Stephen Gamson, even took to Instagram to share news of the event and reveal he attempted to purchase the destroyed work, saying, "One of the most crazy things I’ve ever seen. Anyway, I tried to purchase the broken sculpture. It has a really cool story."
Koons has yet to comment on the incident. The 61-year-old artist is known for the balloon animal motif, and has created hundred of balloon dogs like the one that broke, which was one of 799 made. These were only one foot tall, while others have reached 100 feet.
\u201cThe famous "balloon dog" sculptures might look like they're made from balloons -- but the works are actually fragile, as one art fair attendee found out when she knocked over a $42,000 Jeff Koons piece https://t.co/uf4RWwe7Gs\u201d— CNN (@CNN) 1676834851
Photo via TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
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