Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work is among the hottest on the market. The late American artist’s 1982 painting entitled Boy and Dog in a Johnny pump was sold to billionaire Ken Griffin, a hedge fund manager and CEO of the investment firm Citadel, for the staggering price of $100 million. The work was formerly one of the most prized in the collection of newsprint magnate Peter Brant, one of Basquiat’s major collectors.
Currently 3 art works available for sale, one is below marked price.
Viewing in New York or Geneva see terms
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I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.
I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.
I had some money, I made the best paintings ever. I was completely reclusive, worked a lot, took a lot of drugs. I was awful to people.
Jean-Michel was born in Brooklyn to a Hatian Father and Puerto Rican mother. His art focused on “suggestive dichotomies”, such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience. He appropriated poetry, drawing, and painting, and married text and image, abstraction, figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique.
Basquiat used social commentary in his paintings as a “springboard to deeper truths about the individual”, as well as attacks on power structures and systems of racism, while his poetics were acutely political and direct in their criticism of colonialism and support for class struggle.
In May 2016, Basquiat’s Untitled had a record-breaking sale at Christie’s, selling at auction for $57,285,000.
1. Untitled (1982): $57,285,000
With the sale of Untitled (1982), Japanese tech powerhouse Yusaku Maezawa effectively took the artist to a new record high. Describing his interest in the painting (and the artist), the collector said: “When I encountered the [Basquiat painting] at the Christie’s New York preview, I had an immediate visceral connection to it. Generationally, I relate to Basquiat’s culture and the essence of his life story.”
2. Dustheads (1982): $48,843,752
Before Untitled (1982) took the throne, Dustheads reigned as the artist’s most expensive work since 2013. Dustheads, which was painted in the same year as Untitled, sold at a Christie’s evening sale, exceeding the high estimate of $35 million. According to Christie’s, the present owner acquired the piece from Tony Shafrazi, one of Basquiat’s earliest dealers.
3. The Field Next to the Other Road (1981): $37,125,000
Interest in The Field Next to the Other Road ran high in Christie’s evening sale last spring. As Brian Boucher reported in May 2015, underbidder Christophe van de Weghe, who first attempted the acquisition of the painting back in 1993, said he “failed twice.” The prevailing bidder, however, is yet to be identified.
4. Untitled (1981): $34,885,000
Characterized by Christie’s as a seminal painting that represents the artist’s “transition from underground street artist to art world icon,” Untitled sold at the auction house’s evening sale in the spring of 2014. Its present owner acquired the piece from the Annina Nosei Gallery, where it had been since 1982.
5. Untitled (1982): $29,285,000
Untitled (1982) stands supreme among Basquiat’s becrowned portraits. This iconic skeletal king, which sold well within Christie’s 2013 estimate range of $25 million–$35 million, has passed through many hands, including the Annina Nosei Gallery, the Fredrik Roos Collection, and Tony Shafrazi Gallery, among a handful of private collectors.
6. Untitled (diptych) (1982): $28,928,434
Untitled (diptych) sold at a Christie’s London sale in 2013, rendering it the highest to sell at auction overseas. Standing at 6 feet (and a little over 8 feet wide), the premium paid for the large work was 18,765,876 GBP ($29 million). Notably, Annina Nosei Gallery exhibited the work in a group show in the same year it was created.
7. Untitled (1981): $26,402,500
Amidst enormous market success in the months leading up to the sale, Untitled (1981) was anticipated to break records at Christie’s in 2012. Needless to say, the sale lived up to its hype. At $26,402,500, Basquiat broke his previous record of $20.1 million for another Untitled, which now sits as the tenth item in this roundup.
8. Untitled (Yellow tar and feathers) (1982): $25,925,000
According to Sotheby’s, Untitled (Yellow tar and feathers) belongs to a collection of works Basquiat exhibited in a 1982 show at Larry Gagosian’s Los Angeles gallery. Gagosian sold the painting to a private collector, and there it stayed until its present owner snagged the historic work for well-above the high estimate of $20 million.
9. Undiscovered genius of the Mississippi Delta (1983): $23,685,000
With a wingspan of 15 feet, Undiscovered genius of the Mississippi Delta stuns in both imagery and scale. Grégoire Billault, a senior VP at Sotheby’s Contemporary explained the significance of the piece in an interview with the Huffington Post: “By coupling the symbols and phrases most closely associated with the African American story with the abstract expressionist painterly technique in the multi-panel format, Jean-Michel Basquiat created an exceptional masterpiece of history painting.”
10. Untitled (1981): $20,092,132
2012 was a big year for Basquiat, and the sale of this painting elevated his market to a new stratosphere. But as we know, in retrospect, it wouldn’t be long before other works in his oeuvre outpaced the sale of this $20 million canvas.
Untitled (The devil) 1982
Interview from 1985