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19 Feb, 2023 07:48

Visitor breaks $42,000 ‘Balloon Dog’ sculpture at art fair

An iconic sculpture by Jeff Koons was accidentally destroyed by an art collector, according to media
Visitor breaks $42,000 ‘Balloon Dog’ sculpture at art fair

A visitor to an art fair in Miami, Florida knocked and shattered an iconic ‘Balloon Dog’ sculpture by American artist Jeff Koons, which was priced at $42,000, the Miami Herald has reported.

Art collector and artist Stephen Gamson, who witnessed the incident at Art Wynwood fair on Thursday, said a woman tapped the 38cm-tall (15 inch) blue porcelain sculpture with her finger, knocking it from its pedestal. The perpetrator was later identified as a collector.

“Before I knew it, they were picking up the Jeff Koons pieces in a dustpan with a broom,” he told the Herald on Friday.

Gamson said he first thought the whole thing was part of some sort of a performance, but then saw that the woman was really embarrassed by what she had done.

“She said, ‘I’m very, very sorry,’ and she just wanted to disappear,” said Cedric Boero from Bel-Air Fine Art galleries, which was presenting the sculpture.

Boero saw the funny side of the incident and joked that the number of blue Balloon Dog sculptures by Koons had been reduced from 799 to 798, which was “a good thing for the collectors.”

The shards of the sculpture are currently being stored in a box pending review by an insurance company. Gamson has already offered to buy the pieces as he believes they may still be worth a lot of money, the Herald reported.

Koons has made numerous ‘Balloon Dogs’ of various sizes and colors over the years. One of his larger sculptures was sold for $58.4 million in 2013.

Another ‘Balloon Dog’ was accidentally smashed back in 2016, to which the artist reacted by saying: “You know, it’s just a porcelain plate.”