On Wednesday, artist Kerry James Marshall’s “Past Times” sold for $21.1 million during an auction at Sotheby’s. The sale made waves in the art community with many scrambling to figure out who purchased the Chicago artist’s work.
Now, The New York Times reports that the mystery buyer is Sean Combs.
Jack Shainman, Marshall’s gallerist and dealer in New York, confirmed the news, telling the publication, “I know that this work has found a home in a collection with purpose and an eye toward preserving legacy — that of Sean Combs, and that means a lot.”
Diddy was reportedly introduced to Marshall’s work by friend and producer Swizz Beatz, an avid art collector. Marshall was informed of the buyer’s identity earlier this week while in London.
“Past Times” was originally purchased by Sotheby’s in 1997 for $25,000. The work depicts African-Americans having a picnic along a lakeshore with a city in the distance. The piece is reportedly the highest-selling work of any living Black artist.
Shainman told The New York Times, “The world is recognizing Kerry James Marshall for the master that he is…what Kerry is happiest doing is working in the studio.”