A Jean Michel Basquiat painting just sold for a record $110.5 million at the Sotheby's auction. The art house is thrilled to announce that this painting joins a very elite club of only 10 other paintings to surpass the $100-mill mark.
Basquiat's work was always popular but after his death his fame soared, thanks in large part to lyrical priase from the likes of Jay Z and Kanye West. Now, an artist who had humble beginnings doing graffiti across downtown New York City in the '80s has a new place in history. “He’s now in the same league as Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso,” said the dealer Jeffrey Deitch via the New York Times.
Surprisingly, though, this painting won't live in the Carter or West households, despite Beyonce and Jay Z achieving billionaire status this week. Instead, it is going home with another billionaire, a Japanese one. Yusaku Maezawa posted on his Instagram account to announce that he was the proud owner of the legendary painting.
Maezawa will be kind to us all though and literally share his wealth as he plans to build a museum to display this and many of the other works that he has collected over the years.
In a statement to Sotheby's he says, “I wish to loan this piece — which has been unseen by the public for more than 30 years — to institutions and exhibitions around the world. 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.”
A $110.5 million sale? Color us inspired.
(Photo: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)