Diddy Is The Secret Buyer Behind The $21.1M Bid Of A Kerry James Marshall Painting

attends the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City.

Diddy Is The Secret Buyer Behind The $21.1M Bid Of A Kerry James Marshall Painting

It's reported to be the MOST ever paid for the art of a living Black artist.

Published May 18, 2018

Earlier this week at Sotheby’s, the world's largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewelry, real estate and more, a of painting by the renowned Kerry James Marshall titled “Past Times” was sold for $21.1 million—the most ever for a living Black artist! However, the identity of the buyer was kept secret and left everyone wondering who the lucky (and loaded) bidder was. That is until on Thursday night (May 17), when Jack Shainman, Mr. Marshall’s gallerist and dealer in NYC, can clean.

"Past Times" by Kerry James Marshall at Sotheby's May Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art, in New York, on May 4, 2018. - In this exhibition there are paintings by Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and other artists, and the auction will be held on May 16, 2018. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION        (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

He spilled the beans to The New York Times that is was in fact Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. “I know that this work has found a home in a collection with purpose and an eye toward preserving legacy — that of Sean Combs, and that means a lot,” said Mr. Shainman, who has represented Mr. Marshall since his first show at the gallery in 1993.

The dealer said Diddy was introduced to the painter’s work by a another the hip-hop mogul and now art connoisseur, Swizz Beatz. “Past Times” is an ode to the Black experience but we can think of another reason Diddy might be fond of the painting. The work features a cast of Black folk dripping in white attire. Reminiscent of his infamous all-white parties, perhaps?

Let's not forget to shout out Mr. Marshall on his monumental sale, and dope art!

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 14: Artist Kerry James Marshall, 58, poses for portraits at his studio in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, IL on June 14, 2013. This summer, the National Gallery of Art hosts the city's first solo exhibition of Marshall's artwork.
(Photo by Brett T. Roseman/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(Photo: Brett T. Roseman/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Written by BET Staff

(Photo by Dia Dipasupil/WireImage)


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