A stainless-steel rabbit by artist Jeff Koons fetched $91 million at Christie’s, establishing an public sale file for a dwelling artist.
The profitable bid got here from artwork seller Bob Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s father, who was within the gross sales room and mentioned he made the acquisition on behalf of a shopper.
Estimated at $50 million to $70 million, it was a part of a bunch of works consigned by the household of late media mogul Si Newhouse. The three-foot-tall inflatable silver bunny was supplied throughout Christie’s postwar and modern artwork night public sale Wednesday in New York.
For the previous two weeks, the piece occupied a temple-like rotunda at Christie’s, displayed in blazing white gentle on a pedestal underneath an oculus.
For Alex Rotter, the rabbit represents the top of sculpture and the antithesis of “the proper man,” Michelangelo’s David.
“He’s younger, he’s muscular,” mentioned Rotter, chairman of postwar and modern artwork at Christie’s. “He has lengthy arms, sturdy legs. He’s carved by one of many biggest artists of all time with a chisel, out of 1 block of the purest white marble. The tip of this isn’t a pc display screen as a result of that’s not a carved determine. The tip is a small bunny.”
The 1986 “Rabbit” was successful from the beginning. Newhouse purchased it in 1992 for about $1 million, a big sum on the time, based on Rotter.
The worth at Christie’s, which incorporates the customer’s fee, returns Koons to the highest of the artwork world. Koons had been the most costly dwelling artist at public sale as not too long ago as November, when he was ousted by David Hockney, whose “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” bought for $90.three million.
Koons’s earlier public sale excessive was $58.four million for an orange balloon canine, additionally at Christie’s.