Today I had the pleasure of visiting the Telfair Museum in Savannah, GA. I wandered around and enjoyed all the beautiful paintings, photographs and statues that were on display. Upon my arrival in their interactive children’s area there was a photograph of a sculpture. Never in my life have my eyes come upon something of such magnificent beauty. The sculpture is called simply “Puppy.”
Puppy is a 43 ft giant statue made with a frame of steel and is covered with over 70,000 living flowers. The flowers that make up this amazing work are petunias, marigolds, begonias, lobelias, and impatiens. The soil weighs 25 tons and is moistened by an interior watering system. New York Magazine named the sculpture “Artwork of the Decade.” He was created by Jeff Koons and is purposely made to look like a West Highland Terrier.
Puppy’s original location was Arolsen Castle in Bad Arolsen, Germany. He was then moved to the Contemporary Museum of Art on Sydney Harbor. The original puppy only had 20,000 flowers but the one on Sydney Harbor had 60,000. The Guggenheim Museum in New York bought Puppy in 1997. It was then placed as a temporary exhibit at Rockefeller Center in New York. Interestingly, during the time that Puppy was to be previewed at the Guggenheim, a terrorist group attempted to plant bombs on the sculpture. Thank goodness for all art lovers that this plan was foiled. The Aguirre Square plaza at the Guggenheim is where Puppy is permanently located. The square is named after the police officer Jose Aguirre who gave his life in order to stop the potential terrorist attack.
Peter Brant a well known art collector asked Mr. Koons to make a similar statue for his estate in Connecticut. There was also a miniature version made in 1998 which was made as a porcelain vase with a limited edition. Considering the creativity and imagination that was put into this masterpiece it is no wonder Mr. Brant wanted a “Puppy” to call his own. Mr. Koons does not draw or paint and because of this some art critics say he is not a true artist. You would only have to take one look at Puppy to know that they were not correct. His work is a true masterpiece.
Of all the artwork that I have had the privilege of viewing, just a small picture of this statue inspired me to learn more. The thought of a living statue that grows, breathes and lives as a work of art makes it one of the greatest phenomenon’s of our time. If you ever get the chance to visit this iconic work of art you should. It tells an amazing story of one man’s love of animals and his love of art which grows daily.