If you’ve dreamed forever of owning a Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork, this news’ll probably crush you. An iconic piece from the late artist has sold at auction for the out of control sum of $150 million bucks, making it the 6th most expensive work in the world to sell at auction.
“Untitled” was created in 1982 by the Brooklyn artist, and you probably recognise it – it’s one of his most famous pieces. It’s pretty true to Basquiat’s entire career, really – he’s famous for having been homeless, then selling a painting for $25,000 within a couple of years. DAMN.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982.
More records the sale pummelled into the ground? ‘Untitled’ is now the auction record for one work by any American artist – yep, even Warhol has now been beaten. Oh, and it’s the first work created post-1980 to reach the $100M mark.
“He’s now in the same league as Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso,” said Jeffrey Deitch, the dealer of the work and long-time Basquiat fan.
Japanese collector and billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is the lucky new owner of the piece, having won via a phone bid in a 10 minute long bidding war. The good news? He has plans to own a contemporary art museum in Chiba, Japan, where he plans on displaying the piece.
This surely means Basquiat works in general are going to be off-the-richter in terms of price from here on out – not that they were super affordable for the average art lover in the first place. Since his tragic passing in 1988, existing artwork has consistently climbed in price. So hey, if your ‘rents are hiding an OG Basquiat in their home somewhere, hit ’em up, yeah?
Image: Getty / Lee Jaffe.