The rabbit sculpture is the most expensive work by a living artist ever to sell at auction, breaking the previous record that was set just 6 months ago by David Hockney’s “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” which sold for $90.3 million. Koons reclaimed the record which he held when “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sculpture went for $58.4 million in 2013.
The statue was bought by Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin’s father, Robert Mnuchin, who is an American art dealer, banker and founder of the Mnuchin Gallery at 45 East 78th Street, New York. He headed up the trading division for Goldman Sach’s in the 1970s where he made a considerable fortune. Steve and his brother Alan Mnuchin followed in their father’s footsteps and became executives at Goldman Sachs as well.
The 1986 ‘rabbit’ sculpture by Jeff Koons is 1 of 3 in existence. One is homed at the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles and the other has been donated to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, according to Christie’s. The one auctioned to Robert Mnuchin was previously owned by S.I. Newhouse, the former owner of Condé Nast.
Koons is an American artist known for reproducing everyday items, such as the rabbit balloon animal, with stainless steel, mirrored surfaces. Christie’s described the piece on their website, “It is crisp and cool in its appearance, yet taps into the visual language of childhood,” adding, “Its lack of facial features renders it inscrutable, yet its form evokes fun and frivolity.”
The curator of the Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art told Artsy, “The rabbit, I would say, is one of the most famous works of Jeff Koons’s career, and in fact, one of the most famous artworks of the last 40 or 50 years,”
The sculpture was projected to sell for $70 million but exceeded expectations when Robert Mnuchin outbid several Asian investors.
by – heavy.com