Untitled, a 1982 piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat, was bought for $110 million USD at an auction at Sotheby’s in New York. As well as breaking the record for Basquiat’s most expensive work, the sale also became the most expensive work by any U.S. artist, the most expensive work by a black artist, and the first $100 million USD artwork to have been created after 1980. The piece, a portrayal of a face in the shape of a skull in oil stick, acrylic and spray paint, was expected to go for around $60 million USD in pre-sale estimates and has rarely been seen since it was last sold in 1984. The buyer, 41-year-old fashion entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa from Japan, is the same person who broke Basquiat’s last record a year ago, spending $57.3 million USD that time.
Jean-Michel Basquiat is also going to be the subject of a retrospective at London’s Barbican, his first major exhibition on British soil.