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Simply Smashing: A Broken Koons Sculpture Goes Viral

February 23, 2023
A photo of the artist Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons (photo: David Shankbone)

Over the weekend, I was minding my own business when something caught my attention on my newsfeed: a video of someone sweeping up a blue-and-white shattered mess among the pedestals of a gallery booth at an art fair. After some reading, I discovered that the most memorable event from Miami’s Art Wynwood this past weekend was the destruction of a $42K Jeff Koons sculpture. The work had been a small, limited edition of Koons’s famous Balloon Dog series. It was on display at the booth operated by Bel-Air Fine Art based in Geneva. While some claim that they saw a woman tap the sculpture and caused it to fall, others, including Bel-Air district manager Cédric Boero, say that she tapped the display pedestal with her foot, which caused the accident.

The shattered Koons sculpture was carefully swept up and packed in a box. Luckily, the work was insured. Despite being broken, the incident has actually attracted rather than deterred prospective buyers. Artist and collector Stephen Gamson was present in the booth when the incident occurred. His Instagram post about the accident went viral, and he’s expressed interest in buying the work in its current state. Boero has also claimed that other collectors are also looking to buy the box of debris. Some who witnessed the accident expressed confusion over whether this was an accident or a performance. Since the incident became widely publicized, I have a feeling that the broken Koons will fetch far more broken than it ever could if left whole.