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Posted: May 19, 2017

Basquiat painting breaks record at Sotheby’s auction


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Basquiat painting breaks record at Sotheby’s auction
A 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a record $110.5 million Thursday night.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NEW YORK  —

A 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a record $110.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art Thursday night.

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Sotheby’s said the sale of “Untitled” was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction, USA Today reported. Sotheby’s said it was the highest paid price at auction for any artwork created after 1980.

The painting, which has a graffiti-like look, shows a face in the shape of a skull.

Five of Basquiat’s works sold Thursday night, pulling in $129.3 million total, Sotheby’s said.

“Untitled” was bought by Japanese collector and e-commerce entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war.

“When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art,” said Maezawa, who said he plans to display the painting in his museum in Chiba, Japan. 

“Untitled” was an unknown work before Sotheby’s unveiled it weeks ago, USA Today reported.

The previous auction record for a Basquiat work was set last May when “Untitled, 1982” was bought by Maezawa for $57.3 million, The Associated Press reported.

Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at age 27.


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