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This painting just sold for $110.5 million

20 May 2017, 01:44 | Winston Chapman

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Jean-Michel Basquiat's untitled painting of a skull is displayed behind an official with Sotheby's which offered the media a preview earlier this month. On Thursday the work sold for $110.5 million — the highest sum ever paid at auction for

His most recent sale prior to this was a year ago in May when his painting, Untitled, 1982 sold for $US57.3M.

A 1982 untitled Basquiat sold for $110.5 million in NY on Thursday, setting a new auction record for the USA artist in Sotheby's flagship post-war and contemporary art sale, the auction house said. But the sale also sets the record, "for a work by any American artist, for a work by an African-American artist, and as the first work created since 1980 to make over $100 million", according to the New York Times.

It's a record bid for the 1982 masterpiece initially pegged to sell for as much as $60 million.

Sotheby's announced that the painting will be housed eventually in a museum based in Maezawa's hometown of Chiba, Japan.

The next highest sale following the Jean-Michel Basquiat was Roy Lichtenstein's Nude Sunbathing.

The image of the famous scull painting has been used by Basquiat's estate in the past, but to actually own it is another level of fandom.

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Sotheby's said it was snapped up by the same Japanese entrepreneur, 41-year-old Yusaku Maezawa, who set the previous Basquiat auction record last year, dropping $57.3 million on a self-portrait.

That breathless assessment was offered after the sale by Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby's Europe.

As his reputation grew and his works appeared in New York's most sought-after galleries, he appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine alongside the headline "New Art, New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist". "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.

"He's bringing something never seen before", Billaut said.

Born in Brooklyn to Haitian and Puerto Rican parents, Basquiat was one of the first Black visual artists to earn acclaim in Lower Manhattan's hip-hop- and punk-influenced 1980s art scene.

The enigmatic Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988, aged just 27.



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