The artist Jeff Koons was one of the great innovators of the creative scene at the end of the 20th century. Koons has resorted to techniques and tricks typical of marketing, advertising or communication to make his art known. And at the same time he also renewed the material possibilities of that art, since he has used such common elements as plexiglass or basketballs in his creations. In some way, with a large part of his works, he tried to renew previous currents of that same 20th century, such as Duchamp's readymades or Pop Art, so typically North American.
Puppy in front of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
In other words, his work is extremely varied. But even in an artist like Jeff Koons, a regular in the series and where the relationship with the consumer society in which we live is so evident, there are some creations that reach the rank of being something unique. That is the case of the gigantic dog Puppy that Koons created in Australia and that the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation acquired to sit outside the doors of the Museum Bilbao Guggenheim in 1997, a few days before the impressive work of Frank O. Gehry. was inaugurated
This is a large sculpture (1240 x 1240 x 820 cm) that represents a dog from the terrier family and is made from a stainless steel structure that accommodates a huge amount of substrate that is the food to maintainskin of that dog, which instead of fur, has flowers of various colors. There are 38,000 live flowers. In other words, it is a gigantic garden that must be cared for and that also provides a different aspect to the work every day of the year.
And to achieve that, a large team of up to 20 people renew the plantation twice a year. In the middle of spring and after summer. And even every five years, you have to renew all the land that is hidden under the flowers.
However, everything is done following the instructions ofKoons himself, who wrote down the appropriate colors for his sculpture (white, pink, orange, pink and blue). As well as the floral species that should be used: begonias, petunias and alegrías for the hot season, and pansies for the cold months.
This creates a blanket of color that welcomes visitors and that, according to Koons himself, tries to instill optimism, confidence and security in all these people. Although it is true that Puppy has ended up being the most loved dog in Bilbao and surely the most photographed in the world. In addition to an interesting inspiration for the tourist merchandising of the city and the museum. That is to say, as always happens with Koons, the relationship between his works and the consumer society is inevitable.