Entertainment Arts Bunny business: Koons’ sculpture sells for record $131 million

Bunny business: Koons’ sculpture sells for record $131 million

Rabbit by Jeff Koons is displayed before Christie’s 20th Century Week in New York City. Photo: Getty
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A stainless-steel sculpture of a rabbit by Jeff Koons has set an auction record in New York, fetching more than $US91 million ($131 million).

The sale of Koons’ 1986 Rabbit at Christie’s on Wednesday was the most expensive work by a living artist ever sold at auction.

The previous record for a living artist’s work sold at auction was set by British artist David Hockney.

His 1972 Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) brought in $US90.3 million ($130.4 million) at Christie’s last year.

The New York Times says Robert E Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, was the winning bidder for Rabbit, which had an estimated sale price of at least $US50 million ($72 million).

Christie’s says the sculpture is one of three editions plus one artist’s proof.

ABC reports the playful, 104-centimetre-high rabbit is regarded as one of the most celebrated works of 20th-century art.

The shiny, faceless, oversized rabbit, clutching a carrot, is the second in an edition of three made by Koons, now 64, in 1986.

Koons is famous for creating sculptures of banal objects, such as balloon animals, in stainless steel with a mirror-finish, including his iconic sculptures Rabbit and Balloon Dog.

On Tuesday, one of the few paintings in Claude Monet’s celebrated Haystacks series, Meules (c1890), that still remains in private hands sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $110.7 million – a record for an impressionist work.

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