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Was Koon’s Rabbit Sculpture Worthy the $91.1 Million Sale Price

While by now lots of us are familiar with the latest Christie’s auction house sale, lots of us are bearing a number of questions as well. Was the Koons art piece really worthy the sale?

On 15th Wednesday night, US Pop artist Jeff Koons’art piece, a stainless steel rabbit sculpture created in 1986, sold for a total of $ 91.1 million, establishing a new record price for a work by a living artist. The previous record was set by David Hockney’s painting ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two figures)’ which sold for a total of $90.3 million, last year November. The painting by the British painter, had taken over Koons’ ‘Balloon Dog (Orange)’ sculpture, which for five years held the record for the highest sold work for a living artist, after it sold for $58.4 million in 2013.

The Rabbit which was described on Christies’ website as “cute, sinister, cartoonish, imposing, vacuous, sexy, chilling, dazzling and iconic”, is the second edition of three made by Koons in 1986. The 41 inches, stainless – shiny – steel sculpture, featuring a faceless rabbit clutching a carrot, was purchased by art dealer Bob Mnuchin, father to U.S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on behalf of a client whose identity is yet to be disclosed.

Despite the rabbit’s iconic status, several questions are making rounds, especially on the social media platforms in regards to the sculpture’s purchase. Art critics have questioned whether the art piece was worth the amount it fetched at Christie’s auction house. Here are some of the reactions:

Art critic Deborah Solomon tweeted that she found “the purchase by Mr Mnuchin – former Goldman Sachs banker as ”.

CNBC wealth reporter Robert Frank was taken aback by the sale and tweeted “Still trying to get my head and arms around this”.

Some however had different opinions. Designer Dwayne Cyrus seemed more positive when he tweeted "an artist can be profitable".

The art piece which had been estimated to sell between $50 and $70 million, surpassed the estimated sale bracket to a total of $80 million, including the auctioneer’s fees, which resulted to the final price of $91.1 million.

Among the works that sold at the Christies’ auction house sale was:

  • Roy Lichtenstein’s comic book–lifted ‘Kiss III 1962’, which sold to a telephone bidder for $31.1 million. The piece was estimated to sell between $30 million and $50 million.

  • Andy Warhol’s ‘Double Elvis (Ferus Type) 1963’, estimated between $50 million and $70 million, which sold for sum of $53 million.

The Christies’ made a sale amounting to $539 million, in between an estimation of $422.3 million to $605.2 million.

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