New York, NY – Amid audible gasps, a painting by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat broke Andy Warhol’s record for most expensive painting by an American artist when it sold at auction yesterday for $110.5 million, according to the New York Times.
The 1982 painting of a skull has “put him in the same league as Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon,” art dealer Jeffrey Deitch said.
The buyer was 41-year-old Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who plans to display it at a future museum in his hometown in Chiba.
“I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece,” he wrote in a post on Instagram. “When I first encountered this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art. I want to share that experience with as many people as possible.”
I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece. When I first encountered this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art. I want to share that experience with as many people as possible. バスキア落札しました。アートを好きになってよかった。このペインティングをはじめて見た時、心からそう思いました。みなさんにも見てもらえる機会を作れたらいいなと思っています。 #jeanmichelbasquiat #basquiat #バスキア #ありがとう @sothebys
Throughout the years, Hip Hop music has featured many allusions to the Basquiat — born in Brooklyn to a Haitian father and a Puerto Rican mother. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 27 from an overdose. Jay Z made headlines in 2013 when he bought the Basquiat painting “Mecca,” and has made several references to the artist on throughout his career.
But Jay is far from the only one to recognize Basquiat’s work in his lyrics. J. Cole, Rick Ross, Killer Mike, Cy-Hi The Prynce and more have proven themselves to be art-lovers at one time or another.
And a Rammellzee vs. K-Rob release from 1983 that featured design and production work from the artist made DX’s list for the most expensive Hip Hop albums in existence.