Jeff Koons, the 64-year-old artist best recognized for its balloon-style sculpture, has just made history. The man’s 33-year-old sculpture entitled “Rabbit” concluded a sale at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction for a whopping $91 million – the highest paid for a work by any living artist. The 41-inch tall stainless steel sculpture made to look like a balloon rabbit went over 20 million above its expected price of $70 million.
At $91.075 million after accrued fees, “Rabbit” our sold the artist previous piece, “Balloon Dog (Orange)” which was sold at $58.4 million in 2013. And the auction last just 10 minutes. It opened at $40 million and a heated bidding ensued, with art dealer Robert Mnuchin walking away with the artwork. This particular “Rabbit” was made in 1986 and it is number two from an edition of three and it comes with the artist’s proof as well as a certificate of authenticity signed by the Koons himself.
The sculpture had seen countless exhibitions to date, but it reportedly hasn’t seen any public exhibition for over three decades. It was acquired by publishing mogul S.I. Newhouse in 1992 for a million, and he owned the artwork until his passing in 2017.