This Basquiat Painting Just Set a New Art Auction Record
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This Basquiat Painting Just Set a New Art Auction Record

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Untitled, a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, just sold for $110.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction.

That price is the highest-ever paid at auction for a work by an Americans artist, and the highest for a piece created after 1980. It last sold in 1984 for $19,000, and had a pre-sale estimate of $60 million.

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Just 10 other pieces have ever sold for more than $100 million, according to Fortune. Four other Basquiat pieces sold at the auction for a combined $20 million.

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

Other big sales at the event included Roy Lichtenstein’s Nude Sunbathing, which sold for $24 million, and Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild, which sold for $15.4 million. All but two of the 50 pieces offered for sale at the auction were ultimately snapped up by bidders.

The entire auction netted $319.2 million in sales, well above the amount the same contemporary art auction brought in last year, and it is just the latest illustration of the booming art market. The trend reflects the arrival of many wealthy global collectors who are looking at art as a chance to diversify their portfolio while also decorating their mansions.

The Basquiat piece reportedly sold to Japanese art collector and e-commerce entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, 41. The billionaire also set the previous record price for a Basquiat painting, shelling out $57.3 million for a piece at a Christie’s auction last year.