A six-foot-tall painting of a skull on a red background sold this week for $93.1 million, bringing a hefty profit and almost twice what experts thought it would go for. The Jean-Michel Basquiat painting titled “In This Case” was auctioned Tuesday night by Christie’s of New York. Valentino chairman Giancarlo Giametti had bought the painting for $995k less than two years ago; there’s no word on why he decided to sell. Experts had predicted that the painting would sell for around $50 million.
That’s a lot of money for one painting, but it’s not completely unexpected. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 27, and his works dealt with themes like police brutality and the African American experience. With those topics getting a ton of attention recently, it makes sense to art fans that the prices on his works have gone through the roof.
It’s not the most expensive painting ever sold; in fact, it’s not even the most expensive Basquiat ever sold. In 2017, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa paid $110.5 million for a Basquiat, which was the sixth most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, and last year Citadel founder Ken Griffin paid $100 million for the 1982 painting called “Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump,” which made it the most expensive artwork sold in 2020. The buyer from this week’s auction remains unidentified.
Source: Daily Mail