Jeff Koons' shiny 'Rabbit' sells for world record

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 16, 2019 - Duration: 01:35s

Jeff Koons' shiny 'Rabbit' sells for world record

A 1986 "Rabbit" sculpture by American pop artist Jeff Koons sold for $91.1 million in New York, a record price for a work by a living artist, Christie's auction house said.

Ryan Brooks reports.

Jeff Koons' shiny 'Rabbit' sells for world record

A shiny metal statue of a rabbit broke art records when the auction hammer came down on Wednesday (May 15).

It's over three feet high shaped to resemble a child's toy, a metal balloon, and its new owner paid over $91 million dollars.

With that, "Rabbit" by Jeff Koons is the highest-priced work ever by a still-living artist, according to auction house Christies'.

It's the second of three made in 1986.

And Christies' chairman of postwar art says at first- the Rabbit faced controversy.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRISTIE'S CHAIRMAN OF POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART, ALEX ROTTER, SAYING: "When it was first shown in 1986, there was a big stir about it.

The opinions would vary from like, horrible to amazing.

And it also stands for as one of the most important sculptures of the second half of the 20th century.

It is for me, the antithesis to the David (sculpture by Michelangelo).

It's the anti-Davids." Rabbit's buyer was not disclosed.

Auction house Christies says the sale means Koons overtook David Hockney.

Last November, Hockney's 1972 "Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures)" went for just over 90 million.

The 'Rabbit' sale comes on the heels of another record price in the art world this week.

On Tuesday (May 14) one of the few Monet paintings in the 'Haystacks' series still in private hands sold at the highest price ever for an impressionist painting.

SOUNDBITE: SOTHEBY'S VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE AMERICAS, AUGUST URIBE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This is, of the entire series, the one which is brightest in color and most modern in its approach to capturing that fleeting moment." The Monet sold for more than $110 million dollars.

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