The work of art destroyed by accident is a tragedy. Whether it was a painting, sculpture, or other medium, the loss of this work of art will be felt by the artist, art historians, and the public alike. With no way to recover it and no ability to simply recreate it, its destruction is an upsetting and irreparable loss.
It happened to a collector visiting a contemporary art fair in the United States. She broke a glass sculpture by renowned artist Jeff Koons, shattering it to pieces. She inadvertently pushed it. The accidentally destroyed artwork was worth $42,000.
Confusion with balloon
The bright blue sculpture was part of the famous “balloon dog” series. The accident occurred Thursday night during an exclusive tour of the Art Wynwood fair in Miami. Some thought it was an act. “I saw the woman standing there, and she was touching (the sculpture). Then the thing fell over and went into a thousand pieces,” recounted artist Stephen Gamson.
As he stated, he believed the woman had hit the work to see if it was a real balloon. The art collector asked the gallery staff if he could buy the shattered pieces. The sculpture was about 40 centimeters high and almost 50 centimeters long. It rested alone on an acrylic base with Koons’ last name on it.
Another visitor took a video as show employees swept up the fragments. “I can’t believe someone could bring it down,” is heard in the voice of the video.
Benedicte Caluch is an art consultant for Bel-Air Fine Art. She sponsored Koons’ piece. She told the Miami Herald that the woman had no intention of breaking the piece and that the insurer would cover the damage. “It was an event! Everyone came over to see what had happened. It was the same as when a Banksy piece was smashed,” she commented.
Koons was not present. He is an American sculptor and painter who takes his inspiration from everyday objects. Including, of course, animals made from balloons. His balloon dog sculptures vary in size. They range from 30 centimeters to more than three meters, and come in vivid colors. The accidentally destroyed artwork helped to make the artist more visible. They say there is no such thing as bad publicity.