On Thursday night at Sotheby’s Postwar and Contemporary sale in New York City, 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled, painting of a skull was sold during an auction for more than $110 million only after 10 minutes of bidding.
According to Sotheby’s, the painting of this skull on a bright-blue background had not been publicly exhibited for 35 years.
According to Artsy, this is the highest price ever paid at an auction for work by an American artist or artwork created after 1980, unseating Andy Warhol, whose $105 million auction record was set by his 1963 work Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster).
It is also the most expensive work by an African American artist.
Yusaku Maezawa of Japan, a fashion entrepreneur and art collector bought the art piece for $110,487,500.
The portrait, Untitled has not been shown in the public since 1984 when a private collector purchased it at auction for $19,000.
This 71 ½ inches by 78 ½ inches Untitled painting was done in acrylic, spray paint, and oil stick on canvas.
In an interview with the art collector, he said he intends to make it a centerpiece of a museum in his hometown, Chiba, Japan.
Maezawa posted to his Instagram, “When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art.”
“I want to share that experience with a many people as possible around the world, regardless of age or background or whether they are a collector or not,” Maezawa said.
The presale estimate for the skull painting was $60 million.