Basquiat Painting Sells for Record-Breaking $110 Million

Tokyo e-retailer Yusaku Maezawa won the piece after just ten minutes of bidding.

|
May 19 2017, 4:54pm

Jean-Michel Basquiat made history this week after his 1982 Untitled painting sold for $110.5 million at a Sotheby's postwar and contemporary auction on Thursday. The brash painting of a skull set a record sale for an American artist, ranking it as the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. According to The New York Times, only ten other works have ever broken the $100 million mark, placing Basquiat among the ranks of legends like Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Andy Warhol. The bid quickly soared passed the $60 million it was projected to raise and was eventually won over by Tokyo e-retailer Yusaku Maezawa after just ten minutes of bidding.

The Japanese billionaire has lived an eccentric life: making his living as a rock musician and music publisher, as well as an online fashion mogul. In a Instagram post revealing his new purchase, Maezawa writes, "I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece. When I first encountered this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art. I want to share that experience with as many people as possible." Worth noting for scale: $110 million is what sexual harassment has cost Fox News in the past nine months.

Learn more about the story here.

Related:

Is This the Most Expensive Photograph in the World?

Artist Rolls $1,100 Joints and a Massive, Smokeable Watermelon

We Talked to the Guy Who Brought a $300K Bong to Fashion Week