A Jeff Koons sculpture has been accidentally destroyed – but it may still be sold.
A dainty, bijou-like, balloon dog sculpture by artist Jeff Koons, has been broken into hundreds of fragments. The culprit? An art fair visitor; at the opening night of the VIP-only opening of the Art Wynwood Contemporary Arts Fair, held at the Bel-Air Fine Art Galleries in Miami.
Baffled and Confused
The shiny blue sculpture was a part of Koons’ famed “Balloon Dog” sculpture series, with vividly coloured sculptures in varying sizes, ranging from less than a foot (30cm) in height to more than 10ft tall.
Other baffled visitors were initially quick to assume that this was probably a staged act or some performance art. The immediate aftermath of this mishap was captured on video, wherein one of the bystanders can be heard saying,
“You see now that is the new art installation. Everything is art, isn’t it?”
The gallery staff had to usher away the onlookers as the staff swept away the remains of the sculpture that was reduced to shards and smithereens by the unidentified female art collector.
Liable for Damages?
The gallery’s district manager, Cédric Boero, who was managing the Art Wynwood booth, conveyed that the piece fell after the visitor in question unintentionally kicked the pedestal on which it stood.
Benedicte Caluch, an art adviser with Bel-Air Fine Art, told the Miami Herald that the sponsored sculpture was covered by insurance, so the woman would not be liable to pay the bill for the damage.
Koons was not present at the gallery when the incident occurred. The renowned painter and sculptor draws inspiration from quotidian objects, including simple yet fun-looking balloon animals. His work challenges the notions of what fine art is supposed to be. His art pieces have sold for as much as $91m.
A similar accident occurred in 2016, when a magenta mini version of the balloon dog toppled out of its display case during the Design Miami exhibition. Back then, Koons had a rather calm and philosophical take on the incident, stating,
“It’s a shame when anything like that happens but, you know, it’s just a porcelain plate. We’re really lucky when it’s just objects that get broken when there are little accidents like that because they are replaceable.”
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