Balloon Dog is an iconic work within the highly acclaimed Celebration series, which Jeff Koons began in the mid 1990s. The Celebration artworks reference certain times of year (holidays and birthdays) but also the celebration of the cycle of life. What else could suggest the cheer of children’s parties more eloquently than a colorful balloon, twisted into the instantly recognizable form of a dog. According to the artist, “It is about celebration and childhood and color and simplicity – but it’s also a Trojan horse. It’s a Trojan horse to the whole body of art work.” Balloon Dog has the profoundness of an archaic sculpture.
The monumental Balloon Dog sculptures were made from precision engineered mirror polished stainless steel and finished with a transparent coating of either blue, magenta, orange, red, or yellow. Despite its ten-foot and one ton metal, no detail was spared in the rendering of the Balloon Dog’s form. The artist’s exacting standards are one of the most captivating aspects of Koons’s art as captured in the porcelain Balloon Dog (Yellow), which simulates the mirror-polished stainless steel of the monumental sculpture with its metallic yellow finish and then attached to a reflective porcelain plate.
This highly complex project required the skill and expertise of modelers, decorators and glazers within the workshop of the company, and new technologies were created in order to meet the artist’s requirements. Jeff Koons has chosen Bernardaud for its expertise.