NEWS AND COMMENT: This is indirectly about the human-to-animal relationship and it caught my eye. Jeff Koons is a world-renowned artist. Two of his sculptures have set record auction prices for works by a living artist: Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58.4 million in 2013 for example. That is a much larger counterpart to the broken one!
The broken one was being exhibited at a Miami art fair. The blue balloon dog was 40 cm long. A woman was obviously interested in it and I’m going to suppose that she wanted to check what it was made of so she tapped it. Apparently, she was checking if it was a real balloon. She appears to have tapped it too hard because she pushed it off its plinth. It fell to the floor and shattered into a thousand pieces. I was quite a large plinth! Was this deliberate? I doubt it but mightily careless.
Bystanders might have been forgiven for thinking that this was part of the art as you know that contemporary art can include this sort of live action art but no. Although it was an event in itself and everybody came to see what had happened, it was the destruction of a $42,000 work of art.
A bystander took a video as gallery staff swept up the glass. Will the video be a work of art? I think that it will go viral. The bystander said:
“I saw this woman was there and she was tapping [it] and then the thing fell over and shattered into thousands of pieces. It was really the star of this booth.”
The bystander added:
“I can’t believe somebody would knock that over.”
The art fair was sponsored by Bel Air Fine Art. The accident happened on last Friday during a VIP preview at Art Wynwood in South Florida.
Steven Gamson, a Wynwood artist and collector told the Miami Herald:
“When this thing fell to the ground, it was like how a car accident draws a huge crowd on the highway”.
Jeff Koons who is now 68 years of age, lives in New York and he was not present at the show. Gamson offered to buy the debris of the smashed work. He made the announcement on his Instagram page because it was such a cool story he said.
It has overtones of Banksy’s art work being shredded. This refers to the unexpected self-destruction of Banksy’s Girl with Balloon painting at Sotheby’s auction in London in 2018.
The unnamed woman who knocked the valuable artwork off its plinth had told gallery staff that she was “very, very sorry”. Afterwards she wanted to disappear 😢.
She has not been asked to cover the cost thankfully because it is insured. Fortunately, too, there are another 798 versions of this artwork still in existence. That’s just one less than the 799 limited editions that were available for purchase.