Guggenheim Bilbao asks € 100,000 to restore Jeff Koons’ puppy | Jeff Koons
It’s a crowdfunding campaign aimed at pulling the chords and saving a battered puppy, but this request from the Guggenheim Bilbao is on a different scale. The museum is asking for € 100,000 in donations to restore the 12.4-meter-tall puppy by American artist Jeff Koons.
The flower-covered sculpture of a western mountain burrow stands at the entrance to the museum. Its 38,000 vibrant plants, which include petunias, impatiens, marigolds and begonias, are replaced twice a year.
“The exterior is fantastic and hasn’t deteriorated at all,” said Ainhoa Sanz, museum restoration manager. However, after 24 years in the open, parts of the irrigation system are leaking and need to be replaced, as does part of the stainless steel structure. “We want him to be in good shape for the next 25 years,” Sanz said.
Begoña Martínez Goyenaga, the museum’s communications manager, said the call for money was the first time they had used crowdfunding. “We decided to do crowdfunding because it is such an iconic, loved and photographed work and so representative of the city and we want to give all those who love the puppy the chance to participate in the restoration of what is both a work of art and a vertical garden. “
Puppy was first exhibited in Germany in 1992. It was then rebuilt in Sydney Harbor in 1995. The Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation purchased it in 1997 for its new museum in Bilbao designed by Frank Gehry.
Koons said he chose sentimental imagery of a puppy and flowers to convey optimism and inspire “confidence and security.”
In an interview with the Guggenheim this year, Koons said: “Puppy was inspired by my visits to the Baroque cathedrals of Europe and the way they strike this balance between symmetrical and asymmetrical and between the eternal and the ephemeral.
In 1997, just before the museum opened, three members of the Basque terrorist group Eta disguised as gardeners planted flowerpots filled with pomegranates that they planned to throw at King Juan Carlos as he attended the ceremony. ‘inauguration.
The attack was foiled by Jose María Aguirre, a local policeman, who was shot dead as the three fled. The square was then named in memory of Aguirre.
Two-thirds of the museum’s income comes from ticketing, in-store sales or sponsorship, and the rest comes from the Basque government.
The crowdfunding campaign has so far raised around one tenth of the € 100,000 target. Restoration work is expected to start at the end of September and end in mid-November.