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Principale » Basquiat painting fetches record $110.5M at New York auction

Basquiat painting fetches record $110.5M at New York auction

20 Mai 2017

A Japanese billionaire bought a painting by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat for $110.5 million in NY on Thursday, setting a new auction record for the 20th century great almost 30 years after his death, Sotheby's said.

Achieving a record-shattering $110.5 million, Jean-Michel Basquiat's Untitled, 1982, led Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening sale on May 18.

The previous auction record for the artist was set last May when Untitled, 1982 sold for $US57.3 million, also to Maezawa.

The painting called "Untitled" features a skull with crown motifs and influences from Basquiat's early street art days which incorporates graffiti with neo-expressionalism during the 80s where Basquiat was growing up in NY.

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.

The Basquiat propelled Sotheby's auction results to $319 million in sales, a 32 percent increase from a year ago.

The canvas was last bought in 1984 at Christie's for US$19,000. He became world-famous in his 20s, and dated Madonna for a short time in the early 1980s before she was famous.

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Basquiat, a native New Yorker, had been an artist for just seven years when he died in 1988 of a heroin overdose at 27.

Sotheby's global specialist of contemporary art and auctioneer, Oliver Barker, said: "Totally thrilling, I mean it really is such a privilege to have handled this extraordinary picture".

A Pablo Picasso work "The Women of Algiers" (Version 0) holds the world record for the heftiest price tag at auction at $179.4 million.

Maezawa said he intends to lend the work for public exhibitions before housing it in his own museum in his native Chiba, Japan.

Only ten other works have broken the $100 million mark.

"I've never seen so much emotion in such a painting", said Sotherby's head of contemporary art Gregoire Billault.

Sotheby's also sold Roy Lichtenstein's "Nude Sunbathing" on Thursday for $24m, which like many lots made its auction debut.