Jeff Koons was commissioned in 1992 to create a piece for an art exhibition in Bad Arolsen, Germany. The result was Puppy, a forty-three feet (12.4 m) tall topiarysculpture of a West Highland White Terrier puppy, executed in a variety of flowers on a steel substructure. In 1995, the sculpture was dismantled and re-erected at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Sydney Harbour on a new, more permanent,stainless steel armature with an internal irrigation system.
The piece was purchased in 1997 by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and installed on the terrace outside the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Before the dedication at the museum, an Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) trio disguised as gardeners attempted to plant explosive-filled flowerpots near the sculpture, but was foiled by Basque police officer Jose María Aguirre, who then was shot dead by ETA members. Currently the square in which the statue is placed bears the name of Aguirre. In the summer of 2000, the statue travelled to New York City for a temporary exhibition at Rockefeller Center.
Media mogul Peter Brant and his wife, model Stephanie Seymour, have an exact Jeff Koons duplicate of the Bilbao statue on the grounds of their Connecticut estate
Jeff Koon's sculpture Puppy, a 12 metres high puppy consisting of flowers was created by the US-American artist Jeff Koons. He built this sculpture for the Documenta in Kassel 1992. Nowadays its place is permanently at the front of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao
Jeff Koons knows how to tickle our fancy. Our childhood love of puppies is irresistible even as adults we find ourselves stopping in the street to pet a floppy eared puppy. We also loved the clown who came to our birthday party and made a balloon into a puppy - what was more magnificent than that when you were seven years old. Mr. Koons has showed us that his puppy is timeless and able to attract literally tens of thousands of visitors to museums. Perhaps the two greatest museums in the world the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Metropolitan Museum of Art both had puppies - one flower and one balloon respectively that were the biggest attraction of all. Versailles also had a balloon puppy and it was indeed the most visited room. Of all the pieces of sculpture to go outside of Pritzker Prize Winning Architect, Frank Gehry's mega masterpiece - Gehry chose to use a Jeff Koons Flower Puppy. If a museum's goal is to draw crowds - then no better choice could have been made. No single piece of art since Davinci's - Mona Lisa or Michaelangelo's - David, has been able to draw crowds the way Jeff Koons puppies do. Perhaps instead of a whistling suspended train at the Highline, Mr. Koons should push for a giant barking puppy - one could charge a $100 admission and still not be able to keep the crowds away. Jeff Koons is a mind reader, he is true genius - the ultimate pied piper of the pop art world. He is the ultimate sculptor and the penultimate master artist of our millennia. Rarely understood - he makes us question our relationship to art, and even more importantly our relationship to the artist. Jeff Koons is arguably the best sculptor in the world. - R. Von Remus