Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat, 'Untitled', 1982, Phillips, New York. Profimedia

Basquiat owned by Japan’s Maezawa sells for $85 mn

Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 "Untitled" sold for $ 85 million at auction in New York on Wednesday, far exceeding initial estimates, bringing a considerable profit to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

1 min read

Phillips announced in a statement in March that he would put the artwork up for auction. Maezawa, the founder of Japan’s largest online fashion mall, said it was “a great pleasure” to have Basquiat’s work for six years.

But art “must be shared so that it can be part of everyone’s life,” he added. Before the sale, the massive work of art was carried on an international tour, being exhibited in London, Los Angeles and Taipei.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, ‘Untitled’, 1982, Phillips, New York. Profimedia

Maezawa, who in 2017 set a new record at an auction for Basquiat’s work, offering $ 110.5 million for another work, said he plans to create a new museum to display his collection.

Among other things, he founded the Tokyo Foundation for Contemporary Art and, in 2017, was listed in the “Top 200 Collectors” in ARTnews magazine in New York.

Maezawa is probably more popular in public opinion, especially lately, after occupying the front page of the world’s newspapers with the title of the first space tourist to arrive on the International Space Station, in a “stay” of 12 days.

His “odyssey” is said to have cost him about 10 billion yen ($ 87 million) and he intends to continue space tourism with a trip around the Moon, organized by SpaceX, Elon Musk.


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