Early last month, Christie’s sold an untitled painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat that broke the artist’s world auction record with a $57.3-million price tag at the famed auction house’s post-war and contemporary evening sale.
Christie’s sold 87 percent of the 60 lots it had up for sale at the auction and raked in a grand total of $318.4 million, well within the pre-sale estimate of $285.6-398.2 million. On top of that, 84 percent of the pieces sold had never been auctioned off before, which might be why a bevy of collectors packed the house to get a chance to own one of the rare items.
The un-named Basquiat work in question was created in 1982 when the artist was at the tender age of 22. Another piece by Basquiat, also in 1982, dubbed “Dustheads” and sold by Christie’s for $40 million in 2013, had previously held the sale record for a piece created by the American artist.
The untitled Basquiat painting was purchased by billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, the founder of fashion retailer Zozotown and Tokyo’s Contemporary Art Foundation. He’s Japan’s 17th-richest person, according to Forbes.