Basquiat Painting Sells For $93.1 Million, Second-Highest Ever For The Artist

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Video screenshot via Christie’s

In This Case, a painting of a skull by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, sold for US$93.1 million at Christie’s latest auction in New York. This makes it the second-most expensive Basquiat work to ever sell at auction.

The painting, created in 1983, greatly exceeded its estimated price of US$50 million. Bidding began at US$40 million, with six people vying for the piece.

The auction ended with a winning bid of US$81 million, with the other US$12 million accounting for auction house fees. The artwork was being sold by former Valentino chairman Giancarlo Giammetti, though the new owner isn’t known.

According to Bloomberg, prices for Basquiat’s work have skyrocketed in recent years, driven by demand from a small group of billionaires. The highest-ever price paid for a Basquiat at auction was in 2017, when another painting of a skull sold to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa for US$110.5 million.

This week, another Basquiat painting is going under the hammer, but at auction house Sotheby’s. The estimated price is also at US$50 million, so it only remains to be seen if the other painting sells for nearly double its price too.

#AuctionUpdate Following competitive bidding, Jean-Michel Basquiat's climactic portrait 'In This Case' realizes $93,105,000 at auction

— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) May 12, 2021

[via Bloomberg, video screenshot via Christie’s]

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