A little glass sculpture by renowned artist Jeff Koons was accidently knocked over by a collector attending a contemporary art fair, smashing it into pieces.
The artwork, which is a part of Jeff Koons’ well-known “balloon dog” series, was worth $42,000.
Several collectors assumed the incident—which happened at a VIP preview at Art Wynwood in Miami—was performance art or a staged prank.
The sculpture was all by itself on an acrylic base bearing Koons’ last name.
“I saw this woman was there, and she was tapping (the sculpture), and then the thing fell over and shattered into thousands of pieces,” artist Stephen Gamson told a Fox News affiliate in Miami.
Gamson told reporters he thought the woman tapped on the artwork to see if it was a real balloon.
A bystander took a video as gallery employees swept up the glass shards.
“I can’t believe somebody would knock that over,” a voice is heard saying on the video.
The woman did not intend to shatter the Koons piece, according to Benedicte Caluch, an art advisor with Bel-Air Fine Art, which sponsored the artwork, who also informed the Miami Herald that insurance would cover the damage.
American painter and sculptor Koons, who was not present, finds inspiration in commonplace items like balloon animals. Even though they have sold at auction for as much as $91 million, his pieces question ideas about what constitutes fine art.
His sculptures of balloon dogs range in height from under a foot (30 cm) to over ten feet (three meters), and they are painted in vibrant hues.