16 May 2019
Last week Jeff Koons' 'Rabbit' went up for auction at Christie's Postwar and Contemporary Sale in New York. The piece swiftly surpassed it's estimates, and went on to sell for $91 million, becoming the most expensive work by a living artist to ever sell at auction.
'Rabbit' is a 3 foot tall, stainless-steel sculpture resembling an inflatable toy bunny, in the artist's most recognised style. Part of an edition of three plus one artist proof, the sculpture was described by Christie's as "one of the most iconic works of 20th-century art." Like most of Koons' artwork the piece has divided opinions for years and is certainly controversial.
One of Christie's sale previews rightfully commented on the piece: "It is crisp and cool in its appearance, yet taps into the visual language of childhood".
Koons reclaimed the tittle of the most expensive living artist from David Hockney who, just six months ago, had taken the tittle with 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)'. Hockney's painting had broken the record for a living artist, when it sold for $90.3 million in November, also at Christie's, New York. Interestingly, The British artist's painting had itself overtaken Koons' "Balloon Dog (Orange)" sculpture, the previous record-holder. The piece had sold for $58.4 million in 2013 once again at Christie's, New York. Balloon Dog (Orange) sculpture by Jeff Koons.
Another Record Set for a Hang-Up Favourite...Japanese Garden 3 by Jonas Wood, which set a new world record for the artist.
A new auction record was also set for Jonas Wood. His painting, Japanese Garden 3, was sold to benefit Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) and completely shattered its $700,000 high estimate, reaching an impressive, $4,928,500. Not only was this a new world record for the artist, it was double his previous record. The proceeds will fund a 600,00 acre reserve of South American rainforest to protect native endangered species and help combat climate change. To browse available works by Jonas Wood click here.
KURFS (TANGLE) by KAWS.
American street-artist, KAWS, who has been performing extremely strong at auctions of the past years also had a piece in the sale. KURFS (TANGLE) achieved an impressive $2,655,000 after a bidding battle in the sale room. To view available works by KAWS, click here.
Overall the sale was a success with more than fifty artworks sold during the evening, generating a total of almost $540 million. If one thing was made clear from the evening it's that Jeff Koons has not lost his appeal to collectors.
Below are some works by the artist available now from Hang-Up...
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Until next time.