Judge

The Guggenheim Bilbao Just Dropped a Rap Video to Raise Funds to Repair Its Jeff Koons Puppy Sculpture and It’s… Well, Judge for Yourself


The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao launched a €100,000 ($118,000) crowdfunding campaign in June to renovate the flowering Jeff Koons Puppy sculpture that stands at its entrance. But it seems donations haven’t been as bountiful as the institution may have hoped.

It’s two months into the campaign and only €28,000 ($33,000) has been raised—just over a quarter of the goal. Now, in a last-ditch effort to revive the fundraising drive, the museum has released a bizarre rap video that “gives voice” to the sculpture and encourages art lovers to donate. It’s called “P.U.P.P.Y.”—and it’s super awkward. 

“It’s the ‘P’ with the ‘U’ with the ‘P’ with the ‘P’ with the ‘Y.’ So please don’t kill my vibe,” raps M.C. Gransan, the Bilbao-born songwriter, in the chorus. The passage ends with another inexplicable plea: “Bring me to life.” 

In the video, Gransan performs at various locations in front of the museum, Koons’s dog often looming in the background. Much of the footage is stylized with retrograde technicolor effects, giving the whole thing the feel of a ’90s-era anti-drug PSA. The beat, meanwhile, was created by someone named ​​Doggy Charles. 

A still from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao's "P.U.P.P.Y." music video.

A still from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao’s “P.U.P.P.Y.” music video.

Puppy, as Koons’s 40-foot-tall sculpture of a West Highland Terrier is titled, was installed at the Guggenheim’s Spanish branch in 1997. Since then, “it has turned out to be an icon for the city of Bilbao,” said the museum’s director general, Juan Ignacio Vidarte, in a previous promotional video.

Some 38,000 plants, including begonias, marigolds, and petunias line the structure’s exterior, while inside is an elaborate irrigation system. After two decades, many of the internal pipes need replacing, as do some sections of the artwork’s steel shell. Preventative restoration work is scheduled for September and will allow the structure to consume water. 

In an interview with the Guggenheim this year, Koons said that Puppy was “inspired by my visits to Europe’s baroque cathedrals and the way they achieve this balance between the symmetrical and the asymmetrical and between the eternal and the ephemeral.”

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A Judge Has Dismissed Hollywood Exec Ron Meyer’s Lawsuit Claiming Two Dealers Duped Him Into Buying a Fake Rothko 


A district court judge in New York threw out a case brought by a high-profile Hollywood executive who claimed two art dealers duped him into buying a forged Rothko painting 20 years ago.

The suit was first filed in 2019 on behalf of Ron Meyer, ​​vice chairman of NBCUniversal and co-founder of Creative Artists Agency. He alleged that in 2001, New York dealer Susan Seidel offered him an abstract painting that she said was by Rothko.

According to Meyer, Seidel claimed the work was signed by the artist, that it had been acquired directly from the painter’s family years ago, and that it would appear in a forthcoming catalogue of his work. 

Meyer spent $945,000 to buy the work, after which it hung in his house for nearly two decades.

That is, until he learned it was a forgery—the painting had not been signed by Rothko, nor it did not appear in any literature about the artist’s work. 

In the suit, Meyer’s lawyer, Bertram Fields, called for $10 million in damages, the amount he and his client determined an authentic Rothko would have been worth at the time. The filing also named California-based art dealer Jamie Frankfort, who introduced Meyer to Seidel, as well as five unnamed John Does, as defendants.

Meyer won’t see any of that money, as it turns out.

On Monday, a judge in New York’s southern district court dismissed the executive’s suit.

“The claims were as stale as they were baseless,” Seidel’s lawyer, Judd Grossman, told Midnight Publishing Group News. “The suit never should have been filed, and our client deserved this complete vindication.” 

In a ruling, the court said the statute of limitations on Meyer’s claim had expired, regardless of what Seidel may have claimed. 

Because the case was dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be appealed.

Neither Fields nor Frankfort’s lawyer immediately responded to requests for comment. 

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