US art fair visitor inadvertently smashes a sculpture by Jeff Koons worth $42,000

A collector accidentally smashed a shiny blue sculpture from renowned artist Jeff Koons’ famous ‘balloon dog’ series during the VIP preview of a contemporary art fair at Art Wynwood in Miami, United States. The sculpture, which was valued at $42,000 or Rs 35 lakh (approximately), was shattered into thousands of pieces after the visitor mistook it for performance art or a staged stunt.

The sculpture is said to have sat alone on an acrylic base bearing Koons’ surname. According to artist Stephen Gamson, the woman tapped on the artwork to see if it was a real balloon. “I noticed this woman there, and she was tapping (the sculpture), and then it fell over and shattered into thousands of pieces,” he explained.

According to Benedicte Caluch, an art advisor with Bel-Air Fine Art, which sponsored the Koons piece, the insurance would cover the damage because the woman did not intentionally break the art piece.

Jeffrey Lynn Koons, better known as Jeff Koons, is an American artist best known for his works dealing with pop culture. His sculptures are depictions of everyday objects, such as balloon animals made of stainless steel with mirror-finish surfaces. Koons created the ‘Balloon Dog’ sculpture series. There are several versions of this sculpture in various colours and sizes that were created between 1994 and 2000.

The piece depicts a twisted balloon animal, which Koons describes as a symbol of celebration, childhood, and innocence, as well as an exploration of the boundaries between high and low culture.

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