Steven Mnuchin’s art dealer father pays record $91.1MILLION for Jeff Koons rabbit
Rabbit sculpture (1986) is a 41in steel cast based on an inflatable children’s toy
American artist Jeff Koons became a leading figure in New York in the 1980s
The sculpture, sold for $91.1 million, set a new auction record for a living artist
Buyer was Donald Trump’s treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin’s father Robert
Robert Mnuchin is an art dealer and said he was buying it for a client, not himself
A stainless steel sculpture of a rabbit by American artist Jeff Koons has been purchased for a whopping $91.1 million (£71 million) in New York – setting a new auction record.
Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and father of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, was the winning bidder for the 1986 sculpture named ‘Rabbit’, marking the most expensive auction sale of a work by a living artist.
Mnuchin made the winning $80million bid 10 minutes into the sale on behalf of a client from the aisle seat near the front of the salesroom.
It resulted in a price of $91.1 million (£71 million) including the auctioneer’s fees.
He was seated near Peter Brant, the collector and private museum-owner, and Jeffrey Deitch, the dealer, according to the New York Times.
The previous record was set by British artist David Hockney whose 1972 Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) was sold for $90.3 million (£70.4) by Christie’s last year.
Rabbit, a 41in (104cm) steel cast inspired by an inflatable children’s toy, had an estimated sale price of between $50 million (£39 million) $70 million (£54.6 million).
Christie’s, which described ‘Rabbit’ as ‘one of the most iconic works of 20th-century art’, said the sculpture is one of three editions plus one artist’s proof.
‘Its lack of facial features renders it inscrutable, yet its form evokes fun and frivolity,’ the auction house wrote on its website.
Mnuchin is an esteemed American art dealer, former banker, and founder of the Mnuchin Gallery in New York.
The New York native graduated from Yale and worked at Goldman Sachs for 33 years and was named a general partner there in 1967. He retired in 1990 and in his last year reported a hefty $8.7million salary.
Upon retiring he pursued his love of art and opened his gallery in 1992.
He has two sons with his first wife Elaine Terner Cooper and a daughter and step daughter with his second wife Adriana.
His son Steven Mnuchin followed his footsteps and became a banker with Goldman Sachs before he joined the Trump Administration as U.S. Treasury Secretary.
Jeff Koons became a leading figure in New York’s art scene in the 1980s.
The American artist’s previous auction high was $58.4 million (£45.5 million) for his piece Balloon Dog (Orange), which was sold at Christie’s in 2013.
On Tuesday, a painting from Claude Monet’s ‘Haystacks’ series was sold for $110.7 million (£86.33) at Sotheby’s, becoming the most expensive Impressionist artwork ever sold at auction.
Source:: Daily times