Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and art collectors have their eyes on the shattered pieces of a Jeff Koons sculpture.
“Balloon Dog (Blue),” a $42,000 porcelain sculpture by the neo-pop artist, was shattered on the night of Feb. 16 at the Miami Contemporary Art Fair Art Wynwood.
Koons’ standout pieces have become icons of the American contemporary art scene. The “balloon dog statue” was one of the fair’s big draws, but it was the disaster of its demise that became the main event.
“When this thing fell to the ground, it was like a car accident drawing a huge crowd on the highway,” artist and collector Stephen Gamson told the Miami announces. “It really was the star of this booth.”
Now Gamson is one of the collectors hoping to buy the broken pieces of “Balloon Dog (Blue)”.
“Some collectors offered to buy the shards and we’re still getting offers at this point,” Bel Air Fine Artdistrict manager Cédric Boero told the Washington Post on Tuesday.
“I find value in it, even if it’s broken,” Gamson told the Miami Herald. “For me it’s the story. It makes the art even more interesting.”
The sculpture-to-shards fiasco went down Thursday night at the Bel-Air Fine Art booth when a woman unknowingly bumped into the clear stand displaying the metallic blue sculpture. The balloon dog reportedly went flying. It broke loudly into more than 100 pieces and quickly attracted the attention of honest aesthetes who gathered with mouths open and mobile phones at the ready.
“You have to do it very subtly,” says a man in one video recorded by Gamson. “Take this piece right here.”
“Look, that’s the new art installation over there…because everything is art, isn’t it?” says a woman, pointing to the broken pieces.
Koons, whose $91 million “Rabbit” sculpture set the record for the most expensive work sold at auction by a living artist, introduced the balloon dogs as part of his 1994 “Celebration” series. In 2013, Koons’ steel sculpture “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold for $ 58.4 million. “Balloon Dog (Blue)” was listed for a relatively modest price of around $42,000.
This is not the first sculpture by Koons to meet a broken fate. in 2016, another balloon dog shattered in Miami. In a statement to page six, the artist seemed nonchalant about the incident.
“We’re really lucky if it’s just objects that break, if little accidents happen,” Koons said, “because that can be replaced.”