Jeff Koons’ “Rabbit” (1986) just sold for 91.1 million dollars – making the steel figure the most expensive piece of art sold by a living artist. The 41-inch-high bunny was sold at Christie’s in New York for more than $20 million over its asking price – $70 million.
Koons has not been a favorite in the art-critic world. In 2014, The Guardian published a review that reads: “I was willing to give the Made in Heaven series another chance, but I am sorry to report that the cheap, tone-deaf, misogynistic images of Koons and his partner look as dreadful as ever. Indeed, this retrospective confirms that Koons is almost totally hopeless in two dimensions. His shellacked paintings of flying sandwiches and grinning monkeys – executed by an army of assistants in a studio with more than 100 workers – look even worse than usual as a backdrop to his major three-dimensional work, with none of the ambiguity and strangeness that make his sculptures fly. By the time you reach his most recent paintings, one of which copies and vandalizes Manet’s Christ Mocked by Soldiers, it’s easy not to look at all. They don’t even revile; they merely recede.” Art writer Rosalind Krauss has described him as repulsive, and he has been labeled as baloney by the New York Review of Books.
The steel cast of an inflatable Rabbit created in 1986 was sold to a yet-to-be-identified buyer. It was described by Christie’s as “cute, sinister, cartoonish, imposing, vacuous, sexy, chilling, dazzling and iconic”.