Jean-Michel Basquiat Painting Rakes in $41.9 Million

A painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat titled Warrior sold for $ 41.9 million. The auction world’s headline is in the middle of a moment of rapidly growing interest in NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. In contrast to recent sales which raked in $ 69 million and $ 500 million, the Basquiat News continues to cement the artist’s reputation – rather than catapult him into a new category.

The work, which was sold to an anonymous buyer represented by Christie’s Hong Kong, was in the upper range of its estimate. According to the New York Times, the piece is meant to symbolize the challenges black men face in a world dominated by white. It was founded by Basquiat in 1982 – just six years before his untimely death in 1988 at the age of 27.

The early end of Basquiat’s productive and promising life has long meant that the number of his works that circulate in the art world is limited. At this Christie’s auction, three bidders fought fiercely for the painting until the auctioneer finally hit the auction house’s hammer. The final figure far exceeded the $ 8.7 million real estate mogul Aby Rosen paid for the work in 2012. While Christie’s refused to comment publicly on whether Rosen was the seller in today’s retail sale, the painting’s provenance implied that too.

Notably, the current record for the most-paid work for a Basquiat plant far exceeds $ 41.9 million. In 2017, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa took home an untitled Basquiat piece for a whopping $ 110 million. “Basquiat is one of the strongest markets to emerge from the pandemic,” art dealer Christophe van de Weghe told the Times today. “You can have a 28 year old who spends millions on Basquiat and you can have a man who is 85 years old. He speaks to all kinds of people.”

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