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.
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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