Culture&Arts

Basquiat's 'graffiti' masterpiece sells for $110m

Basquiat's 'graffiti' masterpiece sells for $110m

Untitled, a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, just sold for $110.5 million at a Sotheby's auction.

Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) said the sale of "Untitled" Thursday night in Manhattan was an auction record for the artist. This week, his painting "Untitled" sold in NY for $110.5 million.

The Basquiat piece Maezawa bought is the most expensive painting sold in by an American artist, according to CNN Money, but it was not the Japanese billionaire's first big art purchase.

Sotheby's announced that the painting will be housed eventually in a museum based in Maezawa's hometown of Chiba, Japan. The billionaire also set the previous record price for a Basquiat painting, shelling out $57.3 million for a piece at a Christie's auction past year.




Basquiat, born in Brooklyn to Haitian and Puerto Rican parents, died in 1988 of an overdose aged just 27 after a fleeting eight-year career. An worldwide audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

The subject of much of Basquiat's work - ordeals endured by blacks in America - is finding renewed resonance in the wake of nationwide United States protests since 2014 about the shootings of unarmed black men by police. "We are thrilled that it was purchased by Yusaku Maezawa for his planned museum so others will have a chance to experience its magic firsthand", Billault said. An Andy Warhol painting called "Silver Car Crash" was sold in 2013 for $105 million. Only 12 paintings are believed to have fetched more than $100 million. "I hope it brings as much joy to others as it does to me, and that this masterpiece by the 21-year-old Basquiat inspires our future generations", the collector said in a statement [PDF]. The 41-year-old entrepreneur actually set a previous auction high for Basquiat, paying $57.3 million for a 1982 painting at a Christie's sale last year.

Sustained whoops and cheers that harked back to the tenor of the post-2010 art market boom, which was marked by spiking prices and ever-new records, broke out as the hammer came down in Sotheby's packed salesroom.

The good news for art fiends is that despite shelling out a pretty penny for this Jean-Claude Basquiat painting, Maezawa doesn't intend to keep it locked away in a mansion.


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