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Hapless Tourist Smashes $42,000 Jeff Koons Sculpture at Art Wynwood Fair

Now there’s one less balloon dog in the world.

Pop artist Jeff Koons has created his iconic balloon dogs in all colors (orange, red, magenta, yellow and blue) and sizes (from 10 inches to 10 feet tall), but now, thanks to a fairgoer, who became curious at Bel-Air Fine Art’s booth during a VIP night at Art Wynwood, there’s one less blue dog in the world.

The 16-inch-tall porcelain sculpture was standing atop a plexiglass pedestal, minding its own business, when an art collector poked it, sending it to the floor and breaking it into at least 100 pieces. Before the accident, there were 799 shiny balloon dogs of this model and color; now there are 798.

“Before I knew it, they were picking up the Jeff Koons pieces in a dustpan with a broom,” said Stephen Gamson, an art collector and artist who said in an interview on Saturday that he saw the sculpture fall, according to The New York Times.

According to Bernardaud, which carries the blue balloon dog, “The porcelain edition references the ten-foot tall stainless steel sculpture, Balloon Dog (1994-2000), which recreates a balloon, twisted into the shape of a dog, in painstaking detail on a monumental scale. The inflatable balloon evokes childhood memories and innocent playfulness; Koons takes an object that represents the fleeting pleasures of life and renders it permanent.” The sculptures are made in Limoges, France.

A huge, orange balloon dog fetched $58.9 million in 2013. The small blue version was fully insured.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.