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Basquiat Painting Auction Reaches $110.5M

Image: Basquiat Painting Auction Reaches $110.5M

Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 painting "Untitled" sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby's in New York on Thursday, May 18, 2017, to become the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. (Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 May 2017 10:08 AM

A Jean Michel-Basquiat painting was sold at auction at Sotheby's in New York for $110.5 million, a record price for an American artist.

Japanese Internet retailer Yusaku Maezawa bought the painting Thursday night, jumping into the auction where bidding started at $57 million, Bloomberg reported. The winner was able to fend off two other suitors during the auction that lasted about 10 minutes.

Maezawa tweeted about his successful bid Friday.

Maezawa founded Japan's largest online fashion mall, Zozotown. Forbes listed his real time net worth at $3.6 billion. He owned 39 percent of Zozotown's parent firm, Start Today.

"I remember astounding the art world back in 1980s when I set an auction record for Basquiat at $99,000," Jeffrey Deitch, an art dealer who was the artist's friend and champion, told Bloomberg. "All of us, Jean-Michel's friends, we totally believed in his genius. I always thought he would be one day in the legion of Picasso, Bacon and Van Gogh. The work has that iconic quality. His appeal is real."

Basquiat was a Neo-Expressionist painter in the 1980s, best known for his primitive style and his collaboration with pop artist Andy Warhol, according to Biography.com. He sold sweatshirts and postcards featuring his artwork on the streets of New York City before his career took off. He died on Aug. 12, 1988, in New York City, per the website.

"The price is the highest paid at auction for a work by an American artist and for any artwork created after 1980," said a statement from Sotheby's. "It was Basquiat's night, with five of the artist's works realizing a combined $129.3 million."

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A Jean Michel-Basquiat painting was sold at auction at Sotheby's in New York for $110.5 million, a record price for an American artist.
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2017-08-19
Friday, 19 May 2017 10:08 AM
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