US News: Was Jeff Koons’s balloon bunny worth a record $91 million? - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsWas Jeff Koons’s balloon bunny worth a record $91 million?

06:15  17 may  2019
06:15  17 may  2019 Source:   bostonglobe.com

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Jeff Koons ’ s metallic sculpture of a balloon -animal, “Rabbit,” sold for $ 91 million at Christie’ s on Wednesday—setting a record for a living artist at auction. The 1986 stainless steel creature bested the .3 million paid last fall for David Hockney’ s 1972 painting, “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two

Jeff Koons ’ “ Balloon Dog (Orange)” is displayed October 31, 2013 at Christie’ s in New York. The mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating is part of Post-War and Steve Mnuchin' s Dad, Robert Mnuchin, paid a record -breaking $ 91 million for a 'rabbit' statue by artist Jeff Koons .

(Video: APF)

Jeff Koons set another contemporary-art price record at auction when his chromium balloon bunny commanded $91.1 million at Christie’s in New York Wednesday night. And for many, that’s just as it should be.

Koons has been the poster boy of art-world excess for three decades running. He emerged to instant success in the 1980s greed-is-good era, Wall Street at its most bloated and self-adoring. The most bloated except for right now, of course, and the bunny is the ultimate trophy for any moneyed nostalgist who might be looking to erase those lean years — the 1987 stock market crash, the subprime mortgage crisis — in between. (“Rabbit,” Koons’s record-breaker, was made in 1986.)

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A stainless steel rabbit by artist Jeff Koons fetched $ 91 million at Christie’ s , establishing an auction record for a living artist. The winning bid came from art dealer Bob Mnuchin, U. S . Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’ s father, who was in the sales room and said he made the purchase on behalf of a

Koons effected in art what President Trump effected in politics: He choreographed a total collapse of the distinctions “Rabbit” by Jeff Koons sold for a record -setting $ 91 .1 million at a With his giant sculptures of balloon dogs, of Michael Jackson with Bubbles, and of himself and his ex-porn star wife

To me, the sale makes a statement: Then is now, now is then. Let the good times roll. And the fact that “Rabbit” was bought by Bob Mnuchin, the New York art dealer whose son Steve was a high-rolling hedge-fund manager and film producer and is now President Trump’s secretary of the treasury, is the proverbial icing on the cake: This is a small club, and auctions for such objects are an elite game of one-upmanship within it. The rest of us press our faces up against the glass, agape.

Was Jeff Koons’s balloon bunny worth a record $91 million? © AP Photo/Seth Wenig “Rabbit” by Jeff Koons is displayed at Christie's in New York on May 3. That aside, the art market is governed more by the rules of free-market capitalism than most. Things are worth what someone will pay for them; absent any specific purpose, art is governed by supply and demand in its most unadulterated form. While demand can be cultivated — competition amid the billionaires’ club for certain must-have pieces is the auctioneer’s bread and butter — supply is more fixed. “Rabbit” — made as an edition of three plus one “artist’s proof,” with the others in museum collections — is a rare creature indeed. This was the one and only “Rabbit” out there for acquisition, and there’s a price for that.

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A shiny stainless steel sculpture created by Jeff Koons in 1986, inspired by a child’ s inflatable toy, sold at Christie’ s on Wednesday night for $ 91 .1 million with fees, breaking the record at auction for a work by a living artist, set just last November by David Hockney.

Jeff Koons ’ s Rabbit, 1986, sold for $ 91 .1 million , a record for a living artist. But the uber lot that everyone seemed to be waiting for was Jeff Koons ’ s stainless steel Rabbit from 1986, a Perfectly cast to mimic a blow-up toy balloon , complete with a protruding nipple at its backside, the sculpture

Why $91.1 million? Don’t think the number’s not significant. It’s just a hair beyond the record at auction for a living artist set by David Hockney, who was briefly the heavyweight champion with a $90.2 million sale last November. In a world of moneyed collectors looking to outdo one another, and bragging rights count.

When Hockney’s painting broke the record, he was asked about all the hype around it. “I ignore it,” he said, blase, and fair enough — artists don’t share in auction proceeds unless they own the work themselves.

For Koons, though, it might be a little different. Before Hockney, Koons was the record-holder himself with “Balloon Dog (Orange),” which sold in 2013 for $58.4 million. The artist was then near his peak. But for Koons, these are different times.

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Was Jeff Koons’s balloon bunny worth a record $91 million?
While there’s no denying his significance to contemporary-art history — Koons took off when the market was ruled by Neo-Expressionist painters like Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat, offering a coolly absurdist counterpoint to all the painterly bluster — this big sale comes as he endures a rare downtime.

Koons appeared in the recent art-market documentary “The Price of Everything” as clownish and out of touch. Interviewed in his studio, which he recently had to downsize due to sluggish sales, his usual kindergarten-teacher manner — wide-eyed and chipper, speaking in soft, deliberate tones, he’s the art-world equivalent of Mr. Rogers — was on full display as a battalion of assistants copied Old Master paintings in the background.

Jeff Koons ‘Rabbit’ Sets Auction Record for Most Expensive Work by Living Artist

Jeff Koons ‘Rabbit’ Sets Auction Record for Most Expensive Work by Living Artist A shiny stainless steel sculpture created by Jeff Koons in 1986, inspired by a child’s inflatable toy, sold at Christie’s on Wednesday night for $91.1 million with fees, breaking the record at auction for a work by a living artist, set just last November by David Hockney. Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, made the winning bid for Mr. Koons’s 1986 “Rabbit” from an aisle seat near the front of the salesroom. He was seated near Peter Brant, the collector and private museum-owner, and Jeffrey Deitch, the dealer. It was the ultimate prize among six works offered at Christie’s from the collection of the magazine publisher S.I.

Jeff Koons 'Rabbit' Fetches $ 91 Million , Auction Record For Work By Living Artist. "Rabbit" by Jeff Koons was sold for more than $ 91 million at Christie' s in New York on Wednesday night. A 3-foot-tall silver bunny just set an art world record . Rabbit, by the playful and controversial artist Jeff Koons

The sale of Koons ’ s 1986 “Rabbit” at Christie’ s on Wednesday was the most expensive work by a living artist to be sold at auction. His 1972 Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) brought in 90.3 million dollars at Christie’ s last year. The New York Times said Robert E Mnuchin, an art dealer and

Koons seemed to struggle to explain the idea behind his new work, his typically car-salesman cheer seeming weary somehow. To his ersatz Old Master works, Koons affixes a colored mirror “gazing ball,” suggesting a new perspective on a revered piece. To me, it looked ungainly, like mean-spirited satire mocking the inscrutable whims of the billionaire class.

If only. Koons is too sincere for that. Instead, the sense was of a past-his-prime artist trying to stay in the game. Whatever you think of his work — and I think it’s been undeniably great, conflating consumer obsession and junk culture in a canny arc of object-making that implicates every one of us with gleeful, inviting wonder — nothing lasts forever. The art world is small. People talk, and Koons isn’t immune to any of it.

Was Jeff Koons’s balloon bunny worth a record $91 million? © Press Association Artist Jeff Koons pictured with his work 'Rabbit', at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. A new exhibition of his work will run at the gallery from 7 February to 9 June 2019. Take Sotheby’s executive vice-president Amy Capellazzo, who doesn’t bother to suppress an eyeroll in the film when it comes to Koons, talking about how far his star has fallen. She derides him for making “condo art” — Koons has made several huge, shimmering sculptures for lobbies and plazas of multimillion-dollar condo developments in Florida in recent years — and for tarnishing his reputation, and more importantly, his brand.

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The sale of Koons ' 1986 "Rabbit" at Christie' s Wednesday was the most expensive work by a living A stainless steel sculpture of a rabbit by Jeff Koons has set an auction record in New York, fetching The sale price averaged more than ,200 per skate deck, though some of the decks were worth far

Why does Jeff Koons ' s " Balloon dog" cost $ 58 million ? Theory 1. There are very stupid people with very stupid money. Theory 2. Actually they are not very

Indeed, condo art seems a long way off the artist’s apex, which crested only a half-dozen years ago — such is the fickleness of the art world. Koons’s jaunty, inscrutably weird pieces — a gilded porcelain statue of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp, Bubbles; a giant topiary puppy, installed at Rockefeller Center and museums around the world — were global sensations. In 2008, his outsize balloon animals — a dozen feet tall, in mirror-finish shades of cherry, cobalt, and banana yellow — populated the palace at Versailles. In 2015, billionaire Eli Broad, a longtime Koons patron, filled his new private museum in Los Angeles with Koons’s shimmering works. (Broad’s “Rabbit” is in its collection.)

But that’s the thing about the art world: It demands newness, but when it doesn’t like what it sees, it falls back. “Rabbit” is the rarest of things: a bonafide icon of one of the few moments when art truly changed (Warhol did much the same thing, 20 years earlier, though Koons’s formal trickery and baldfaced sunniness were entirely his own).

Koons’s apparent recent stumbles — will he ever be that good, that fresh, again? — only add to the appeal of “Rabbit,” and, inevitably, to its price. It’s a grim spectacle, I think, speculating on an artist’s posthumous value — professional death, a career on life support — while he’s alive and well to watch. While the free market gives — and it’s given Jeff Koons plenty — it also takes away. For Koons, watching his own funeral may be the ultimate price.

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