Most of us are emerging from the pandemic a little worse for wear than before. Even Jeff Koons' Puppy, the flower-covered sculpture that has welcomed visitors to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao for the last 23 years, is in need of a makeover.
The 12.4-meter-tall sculpture of a West Highland Terrier was installed in 1997 outside the Spanish museum and now they're asking for donations to restore the puppy to greatness. It turns out that the conservation of a living sculpture of this kind will set you back quite a bit: €100,000 in fact. Juan Ignacio Vidarte, Director General of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, explains why, below.
“Jeff Koons' Puppy is one of the most emblematic works from the collection, and it has turned out to be an icon for the city of Bilbao since October 1997 when it came here among us,” he explained. He's asking for €100,000 to renew its internal structure, repairing and replacing all its components.”
“It has become an icon of the museum and Bilbao itself, and as such, it must always look gorgeous,” reads the Guggenheim's website. The hope is that they will be able to maintain Puppy for the next 25 years with the conservation effort.
The approximately $119,000 restoration cost might seem excessive, but consider that in the context of Koons' other works. Back in 2019, his Rabbit sculpture sold for more than $91 million at Christie's Auction House — the most for work by a living artist at auction. In 2013, his sculpture “Balloon Dog (Orange)” fetched $58,405,000 at Christie's New York.
Donate to the fundraiser here.