Culture / Auctions

This is Jeff Koons’ ‘Rabbit’ to be Auctioned For $50+ Million at Christie’s

The 1986 steel ‘Rabbit’ sculpture by Jeff Koons, America’s famous contemporary artist, will be auctioned this at Christie’s for at least $50 million

May 09, 2019 | By Angelyn Tan

This is Jeff Koons’ ‘Rabbit’ to be Auctioned For $50+ Million at Christie’s

The American artist was known to start his career by using cheap, everyday objects in contemporary art and then setting them on top of one small mirror and in front of another small mirror, and proclaiming the result art. Koons called this “Entering the Objective Realm.” and now, his artworks are worth millions of dollars auctioning at Christie’s. Jeff Koons’ impressive ‘Rabbit’ is no different.

Known as an icon of contemporary art over the past three decades, ‘Rabbit’ has been the attention-getter in a number of museum exhibitions around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in London, the Château de Versailles, The Broad, and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

The 3 and a half foot high, 33-year-old steel Rabbit figure is one of the 11 works being sold off from the collection of S.I Newhouse at Christie’s, the former owner of publishing house Conde Nast.

Koons is also well-known for Balloon Dog (Orange), another piece of work that sold for US$58.4 million at  Christie’s New York’s 2013 Post-War and Contemporary Art auction — making him the most expensive living artist in the world.

“When it was released in 1986, [it] would not only shake the art world to its core, but alter the course of popular culture as we now know it,” Alex Rotter, who oversees Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s, told Forbes. “For me, Rabbit is the anti-David, which signaled the death of traditional sculpture—disrupting the medium in the same way that Jackson Pollock’s Number 31 permanently redefined the notion of painting. From my first day in the auction world—this is the work that has represented the pinnacle of both contemporary art and art collecting to me, and it is an immense honor to be presenting it to the auction market in May.”

First unveiled at the Sonnabend Galler’s “New-Geo” exhibiion in 1986, Koons’ Rabbit reflects its immediate environment and onlookers themselves due to its mirror-like surface. Embodying the same concept is Koons’ Balloon Dog. The Balloon Dog sculpture is made from very simple materials – stainless steel and covered in different colors: blue, magenta, orange, red and yellow.Each edition of the series has sold for a different price at different times but the one that sold at the highest amount of money remains the Balloon Dog (Orange) which sold for $58,405,000 in November 2013, the highest ever paid for a piece of art by a living artist at auction anywhere in the world.

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