map
the broad

Balloon Dog (Blue)

Jeff Koons
1994-2000
mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating
121 x 143 x 45 in. (307.34 x 363.22 x 114.3 cm)

[SOUNDFX: Kids laughing]

 

Do you remember the first birthday party you went to? Or had?

 

Do you remember the games, the gifts, the cake?

 

Hmmmm-hmmm. Cake.

 

Did you get a balloon?

 

Did your balloon make it home? Or did it [SOUNDFX: Wind noise] floaatt away.

Or did it [SOUNDFX] POP?!

 

[Normal tone, back in the room, reminiscing over] You know you couldn’t pop this giant balloon - even if you wanted to.

 

This sculpture is actually made of heavy stainless steel. It’s called Balloon Dog and it’s by Jeff Koons. Jeff wanted us to remember the joys of having a birthday party, so in 1994 he began a series of work called Celebration.

 

Balloon Dog is part of it. There are four other Balloon Dogs just like this one, but in different colors.

 

Balloons are symbols of childhood, from the time when we are tiny, so to see one remade so realistically at this size is delightful.

 

It’s so very big because Jeff wants to remind us just how important everyday events are, how special birthdays and celebrations can be.

 

In real life, balloons are small, silly, funny little things that we enjoy for a short while.

 

Now, here, we are in front of a giant, heavy, serious version that’s not going anywhere. This “balloon” is not floating away.