Rabbit sells for whopping $91.1 million, record price for a living artist

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New York | Published: May 17, 2019 4:27:54 PM

Before his death in 2017, his empire included Conde Nast, which published magazines like Vogue, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair.

Before his death in 2017, his empire included Conde Nast, which published magazines like Vogue, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. (Source: YouTube)

A sculpture by American artist Jeff Koons has sold for USD 91.1 million at an auction organised by Christie’s in New York – a record price for a living artist.”Rabbit”, a stainless steel casting of an inflatable rabbit, overtook the previous record set by British painter David Hockney’s “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)”, which sold last November at Christie’s for USD 90.3 million.

It was a return to the top for Koons, whose “Balloon Dog (Orange)” for five years held the record for highest price reached at auction for a living artist after its 2013 sale for USD 58.4 million. The selling price of “Rabbit” was only USD 80 million, but once commissions and fees were added, the final total rose to USD 91.075 million.

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In an unusual turn for an art auction at this price range, the buyer of “Rabbit” was actually in the room during the sale.

Produced by Koons in 1986, “Rabbit” is among the best-known works by the artist, who built a reputation for challenging art world conventions. At 41 inches (1.04 meters) in height, the figure was auctioned from the collection of deceased publishing mogul S I Newhouse. Before his death in 2017, his empire included Conde Nast, which published magazines like Vogue, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair.

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