Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Masterpiece ‘Untitled’
Sells for $110.5 Million
– Setting Auction Record for the Artist –
– Record for a Work by an American Artist at Auction –
Acquired by Yusaku Maezawa for Planned
Museum in Chiba, Japan
18 May 2017 – in New York, Sotheby’s set an auction record for Jean-Michel Basquiat when Untitled, a masterpiece from 1982, sold for $110,487,500 million in the Contemporary Art Evening Auction. The price comfortably exceeded the previous record for the artist, as well as the pre-sale estimate of $60 million and was achieved after a 10-minute contest between multiple bidders. The work was purchased by noted collector and entrepreneur, Yusaku Maezawa, the founder of e-commerce giant, Start Today, and ZOZOTOWN, the virtual mall on Japan’s largest fashion e-commerce site. The painting will eventually be housed in a museum based in Mr. Maezawa’s hometown of Chiba, Japan.
Mr. Maezawa, who announced his purchase earlier this evening via Instagram (@yusaku2020) and Twitter (@yousuck2020),
41세의 억만장자 Yusaku Maezawa가 바스퀴아를 구입했다. 그의 인스태그램.
Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat is a landmark canvas created by the artist in 1982. While his career was still at an early stage, Untitledis rich with imagery now synonymous with the artist such as the crown and graffiti-like typography sprawling across the canvas. Before being unveiled at Sotheby’s just weeks ago, ‘Untitled’ was virtually unknown, having remained in the same private collection since it was purchased at auction in 1984 for $19,000.
The price achieved this evening eclipsed the previous auction record for the artist established in May 2016 when another ‘Untitled’ work from 1982 was also purchased by Mr. Maezawa for $57.3 million.
About Yusaku Maezawa
Yusaku Maezawa was born in 1975 in Chiba, Japan. After graduating from Waseda Jitsugyo he left for the United States to play in a music band. After returning to Japan, he established Start Today Co., Ltd. in 1998, which engaged in catalogue sales of imported CDs and records. In 2004 he founded “ZOZOTOWN”; an online fashion shopping site. The company was listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (3092) in February 2012.
As a passionate collector and patron of the arts, Mr. Maezawa is a great champion of both established and young artists around the world. His interest in Japanese antiquity extends to a great collection of rare, historical objects; and modern and contemporary works in his collection include those by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Mark Grotjahn, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Jeff Koons, Bruce Nauman, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince and Christopher Wool.
High-resolution images of Mr. Maezawa and the work are attached. Caption information for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled is as follows:
Sotheby’s New York
Contemporary Art Evening Auction
18 May 2017
signed, inscribed NYC and dated 82 on the reverse
acrylic, spray paint and oilstick on canvas
72 1/8 by 68 1/8 in. 183.2 by 173 cm.
Estimate in excess of $60 million
Sold for $110,487,500
© 2017 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS
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