Jeff Koons sculpture beats David Hockney record for biggest sale by living artist

16 May 2019, 13:44 | Updated: 16 May 2019, 17:44

A stainless steel sculpture of a rabbit by American artist Jeff Koons has set an auction record in New York, selling for over $91m (£71m).

Rabbit, made in 1986, became the most expensive work by a living artist ever sold at auction when it went for the final sale price of $91,075,000 (£71,159,174) at Christie's in New York.

The previous record was held by British artist David Hockney. His Portrait Of An Artist, made in 1972, went for $90.3m at Christie's last November.

The shiny faceless rabbit, which stands at 104cm (41in) tall and clutches a carrot, sold well above its pre-sale estimate price of $50m.

Koons's "terrifying bunny", as the sculpture has been dubbed by some, helped establish him as "one of the most important artists of our era".

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It says the art piece has variously been described as "cute, sinister, cartoonish, imposing, vacuous, sexy, chilling, dazzling and iconic".

Rabbit is one of Jeff Koons's most famous works, alongside equally gleaming Balloon Dog and monumental floral sculpture Puppy.

The buyer of the Rabbit has not been named, but The New York Times reported that Robert Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, was the winning bidder.