Clumsy collector accidentally smashes $42,000 Jeff Koons balloon dog

An unlucky art collector had an expensive visit to a Miami art fair when they accidentally kicked a podium which had a $42,000 Jeff Koons sculpture sitting on top. 

While Koons’ famous sculptures may look like balloons, they are in fact made from delicate porcelain, which the art fair visitors soon discovered as the 15-inch tall piece shattered into thousands of pieces.

The porcelain balloon was available with Bel-Air Fine Art galleries, which runs 25 venues worldwide. The district manager of Bel-Air Fine Art, Cédric Boero, says, “It is heartbreaking to see such an iconic piece destroyed. However, the collector never intended to break the sculpture. In fact, she never touched it with her hands.” He added, “It was the opening cocktail, lots of people were on our booth, she gave unintentionally a little kick in the pedestal, which was enough to cause the sculpture to fall down. This kind of thing unfortunately happens, that is why the artwork was covered by insurance. ” 

Jeff Koons Baloon Dog sculpture smashed on the floor. Photo credit: Bel-Air Fine Art

One onlooker reported, “I’m not sure if she tapped it or bumped into it as it happened very fast.”

In the world of contemporary art, Koons’ animal figure balloons are some of the most renowned and expensive pieces collectors can buy. 

His pieces sell for enormous amounts at auctions, namely “Rabbit” (1986) which sold for $91 million at Christie’s New York in 2019, and “Balloon Dog (orange)”(1994-2000), which sold for $58.4 million in 2013.

The gallery says collectors are already fielding bids for the broken pieces.

A total of 799 editions of the ‘Balloon Dog” sculpture were made, including the one that smashed. 

Red Eight Gallery is delighted to offer our collectors a Jeff Koons “Balloon Dog (blue)” (2021) to add to their portfolio. Get in touch for more details. 

Main Image: Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog on its pedestal. Photo credit: Bel-Air Fine Art