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WSJ’s Crow: Basquiat at Christie’s could break auction record – UPDATED

April 5, 2013
Jean Michel Basquait, "Dustheads"(c) 2013 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ ADAGP, Paris/ ARS, New York

Jean-Michel Basquait, “Dustheads”
(c) 2013 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ ADAGP, Paris/ ARS, New York
Lot 10. Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
signed, titled and dated ‘DUSTHEADS Jean-Michel Basquiat 82′ (on the reverse)
acrylic, oilstick, spray enamel and metallic paint on canvas
72 x 84 in. (182.8 x 213.3 cm.)
Painted in 1982.
Estimate: $25-35 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $43.5 million ($48,843,750 with the buyer’s premium).

Complete coverage of the sale here: Silvery $58.3 million Jackson Pollock painting leads Christie’s $495 million Record Breaking Contemporary Art Sale

The Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow reports that London-based collector Tiqui Atencio is selling Jean-Michel Basquait’s Dustheads at Christie’s May 2013 Post War & Contemporary Art sale in New York.  The 7-foot tall painting, which Atencio purchased in 1996 from dealer Tony Shafrazi, is estimated at $25-35 million. The current record for a Basquiat at auction is $26.4 million.

According to Crow:

The Basquiat’s chances at auction could be helped by the fact that Ms. Atencio hasn’t shopped the painting privately, dealers said, so collectors may be surprised to learn it is up for grabs now. Christie’s also said it has secured an outside investor who has agreed to bid at least $25 million for it.

The article also contains this entertaining observation by a Christie’s specialist:

Christie’s specialist Loic Gouzer said Basquiat enjoys an enviable, global following, particularly among Baby Boomers and Generation X collectors who can’t afford a $50 million abstract expressionist masterpiece by Jackson Pollock yet crave a work with more gestural vigor than Pop provides.

If I’m reading this statement correctly (and somewhat cynically), the essence of this marketing pitch is: “there, there Mr./Ms. multi-millionaire … we know you can’t afford a $50 million trophy, so why don’t you buy this $25 million consolation prize … feel better now?”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Alex Ormandy permalink
    April 5, 2013 10:48 AM

    Hi Sweetheart!

    How about this for the bedroom?


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