Jeff Koons' 'Rabbit' sculpture sold for record £71m

Rabbit Jeff Koons

A man poses with the stainless steel sculpture

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A stainless steel rabbit sculpture has sold for a record £71 million, making it the most expensive work by a living artist ever sold at auction.

The work, called Rabbit, was created by US artist Jeff Koons in 1986, and fetched 91 million dollars at auction house Christie's in New York.

The previous record for a living artist's work sold at auction was set by British artist David Hockney with his 1972 piece, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures).

The portrait brought in 90.3 million dollars at Christie's in November last year.

The New York Times says Robert E Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, was the winning bidder for Rabbit, which had an estimated sale price of at least 50 million dollars.

The sculpture is a steel cast of an inflatable, and is one of three editions plus one artist's proof. 

It describes the piece on its website as "cute, sinister, cartoonish, imposing, vacuous, sexy, chilling, dazzling and iconic".

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