Christie's is auctioning Jeff Koons' iconic sculpture "Rabbit" next week in New York and has created some eye-catching work to hype the event.
The campaign, by LIDA, includes digital films with the tagline, "Own the Controversy," referring to the stainless steel sculpture's ongoing controversial status since it was unveiled in 1986—an event described by Christie's as a "thumb in the eye of the art world." The various executions feature starkly contrasting quotes about the piece from prominent critics, with viewers invited to join the debate by using the hashtags #goodbunny and #badbunny.
Digital and social executions are running globally across the U.S. the U.K. Germany and the Netherlands, with special activity on WeChat in Hong Kong and mainland China. There's also outdoor work in New York, including OOH in Times Square (a media first for Christie’s); a New York Times homepage takeover and a full‐page New York Times print ad. LIDA also created a light installation on Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza façade. Giant neon letters spell out the word "ICON," with the ‘I’ left pulsing on and off.
Rabbit will be offered at auction at Christie’s New York on Wednesday May 15, with an estimate value of $50 million to $70 million.
Ben Golik, chief creative officer at LIDA says in a statement, “If ["Rabbit"] was just a cute bunny, it wouldn’t hold the intense fascination that continues today. We wanted to embrace all of [its] contradictions and present both sides of the argument as being equally valuable to the story, and the value of the object today.”