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NewsCO.com.au – Basquiat painting sells for $110.5m in New York

May 19, 2017

This file photo taken on May 5, 2017 shows a Sotheby's official speaking about Untitled, a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat during a media preview at Sotheby's in New York.Image copyright
AFP

A painting by the late graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat has sold at auction in New York for $110.5m (£85.4m).

That is nearly double the price of his previous most expensive work, which was bought a year ago.

The untitled work was done in oil-stick, acrylic and spray paint and depicts a skull.

It went to a telephone buyer from Japan, following 10 minutes of bidding with a client in Sotheby’s.

  • Picasso portrait sells for $45m

Cheers and applause erupted in the room when the work was sold.

Basquiat, a native New Yorker, died in 1988 of a heroin overdose aged 27. He had been an artist for just seven years.

Most of his works depict the problems faced by African Americans in the US, reports the BBC’s Laura Bicker in Washington.

Once a graffiti rebel from Brooklyn who sold drawings for $50, he is now in the same league as Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon, she says – part of a rare group of artists whose work has sold for more than $1m at auction.

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