The ef Koons said it was 1997 or 98. He had an idea for his first “Balloon Dog” sculpture. A pop piece that looked like a baby birthday party. Except for polished stainless steel mirrors, about 12 feet long.
Problem. The cost of making a dog continued to rise, inflating like a balloon, doubling and then doubling again.
The savior invaded. Art collector Eli Brod.
“Eli was standing next to the cloth, paying for the production, thus creating the first ‘Balloon Dog,'” Koons said Friday, the day Brod died in Los Angeles at the age of 87. “He was standing at work, he was sure it would be over. Now the blue “Balloon Dog” is wide.
“I say all this because he was a very fair person, successful in business but fair. We were under a certain contract for production, but when the price was constantly rising, in order to get the desired end for it, on that scale. He stood by the case, և I thank him for that. ”
Kuns, one of the many figures in the art world who shared their memories of Brody on Friday, recalled the moment he returned from Washington to New York.
“Eli had his plane, he asked if I would like to go back to town with him, I said I would,” Kuns said. “He really wanted me to sit in one of the front seats, like a co-pilot. And he definitely sat me down there and fastened his seat belt. It was such a strange moment. “
Kuns found humor in entangling himself in a billionaire. “There was a lot of warmth with Heli,” said the artist. “He could have been very structured in his business, but he really had a warmth and compassion for people, which was nothing.”
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.