A man takes a picture of a sculpture entitled "Rabbit" by Jeff Koons during a media preview at Christie's in New York, May 3, 2019. (SETH WENIG / AP)
A 1986 “Rabbit” sculpture by American pop artist Jeff Koons sold for US$91.1 million in New York on Wednesday, a record price for a work by a living artist, Christie’s auction house said.
The playful, stainless steel, 104 cm high rabbit, regarded as one of the most celebrated works of 20th-century art, was sold for more than US$20 million over its pre-sale estimate.
Christie’s said the sale made Koons the highest-priced living artist, overtaking the US$90.3 million record set last November by British painter David Hockney’s 1972 work “Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures.)”
The identity of the “Rabbit” buyer was not disclosed.
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The shiny, faceless oversized rabbit, clutching a carrot, is the second in an edition of three made by Koons in 1986.
The sale follows another record-setting auction price this week. On Tuesday, one of the few paintings in Claude Monet’s celebrated “Haystacks” series that still remains in private hands sold at Sotheby’s in New York for US$110.7 million - a record for an Impressionist work.
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