It was a normal day at the Art Wynwood fair in the Bel-Air portion of Miami. However, the special part of this day is that it was its VIP preview day on February 16, 2023.
A woman was reported spectating Jeff Koons’s $42,000 sculpture of what was called Balloon Dog (Blue). Multiple accounts from witnesses stated that she did not touch the sculpture before accidentally shattering it, but one person thought that she did touch it before it was broken.
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Was the Artwork Touched?
Stephen Gamson is an art collector who was at the VIP preview day at the Art Wynwood fair. He witnessed the Balloon Dog (Blue) work fall to the ground at the hands of an older woman as he stated in an Instagram post.
A commenter who saw Gamson’s post shared that it was his grandmother that caused the piece to shatter, but he stated that she didn’t tap the glass sculpture before it fell and broke. Even the district manager of the Bel-Air Fine Arts district vouched for the woman saying that her hands were nowhere near the work before they got broken.
The real story is that in the excitement of the opening cocktail moment, a woman’s foot accidentally made contact with the pedestal that held the sculpture. The small movement was just enough to make the stand wobble off balance and for the sculpture to slip off and shatter.
It’s a saddening sight when viewing the picture of the broken sculpture to think of the many hours and days of hard work that Jeff Koons spent on Balloon Dog (Blue). However, there is still hope for this beautifully broken sculpture.
The Success of Other Balloon Dogs
Believe it or not, there was another Balloon Dog (Blue) sculpture that sold at the German art center, Ketterer Kunst, back in December 2021 for 62,500 pounds or an equivalent value of $70,709 after purchasing fees were included. Its predecessor Balloon Dog (Orange) which is even larger than the two blue balloon dogs created in the 1990s was valued at $58.4 million during a Christie’s New York Sale almost ten years ago.
What Became of the Shattered $42,000 Sculpture?
Even though the poor balloon dog is now a pile of shards, one collector named Stephen Gamson is looking to purchase the work. He reported on an Instagram post that he feels the story about what happened to the balloon dog is more intriguing than the interest generated by the artwork itself. Hence, Gamson feels that the piece still holds merit in his collection even in its broken state.
Other art collectors besides Gamson feel the same way. The district manager of the local fine arts district stated that they have received additional offers from other art collectors who heard about the demise of the current Ballon Dog (Blue) sculpture.
Until the insurance agent can take a look at the sculpture to assess the nature of the damages, the shards have been boxed up and stored off the artwork floor. Art collectors vying to get their hands on the broken blue balloon dog only have pictures to enjoy until it is decided which purchase offer the fine arts district will allow.
Are you an art collector? Did you hear about this devastating story? Let us know what you think in the comments!