The most interesting piece of information in last week’s New York magazine profile of Jeff Koons by Carl Swanson is this gem more than a dozen paragraphs into the piece: “His balloon-twisting consultant, an L.A. balloon artist named Buster Balloon, told me it took him 85 versions using a 60-inch-long balloon to get [the model for the new Koons sculpture "Balloon Venus"] right; Koons then cat-scanned the actual balloon sculpture, to make sure he got the measurements exactly.” Who is Buster Balloon, you ask?
Well, he is a world-renowned balloon artist whose stellar reputation earned him a solo show of his balloon sculptures at Half Gallery on the Lower East Side in September of 2009 (see obnoxiously watermarked image above), which is a greater marker of art world acceptance than any other professional balloon artist can claim.
In addition to his work with Koons, he has been commissioned to create balloon sculptures for Nickelodeon, J. Crew, Cynthia Rowley, John Varvatos, the Disney Channel, and many more. He was the recipient of the Ralph Dewey Balloon Excellence Award in 2004, which is regarded as the utmost marker of achievement in the balloon art community.
Among the most impressive creations featured in Balloon’s Facebook galleries are a gorilla from his Half Gallery show, the above rendering of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo that he contributed to a Hanna-Barbera party, and this gyro.
Though it’s unclear when and where Balloon will have his next solo show, we suspect that if his colleague Koons were to put in a good word with his dealer, one of Gagosian’s 13 locations could be freed up for an installation of his inflatable sculptures.
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photos courtesy the artist, via Buster Balloon/Facebook.)