Like so many painters of the past, Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s work has gained more notoriety since the Brooklyn-bred artist passed away in 1988.
In addition to films, books and exhibits, the 28-year-old’s paintings have sold for millions. But a recent sale of one of his works, broke a record.
According to The New York Times, joining the rarefied $100 million-plus club in a salesroom punctuated by periodic gasps from the crowd, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s powerful 1982 painting of a skull brought $110.5 million at Sotheby’s, to become the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction.
Only ten other works have broken the $100 million mark.
The painting was purchased by Japanese billionaire art collector, Yusaku Maezawa who said he wants to “share that experience with as many people as possible” by owning it.
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The image of the famous scull painting has been used by Basquiat’s estate in the past, but to actually own it is another level of fandom.
Dealer Jeffrey Deitch, an expert on Basquiat, put the sale in context. “He’s [Basquiat] now in the same league as Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso.”