History was made at Sotheby's in New York with a single thunderous drop of a auctioneer's gravel that brought an end to 10 minutes of pure excitement for spectators and adrenaline pumping bids for collectors. The prize was the extraordinary artwork 'Untitled' from 1982 by African American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, with the lucky and delighted collector, Yusaku Maezawa, having to part with a cool $110.5 million for the privilege.
This sale was significant for a number of reasons. Firstly it's the highest sale amount an American artist has achieved ever at auction. Secondly by doing so the artwork and artist join a small handful of historically important personalities such as Picasso, Klimt, Renoir, de Kooning and da Vinci as artists who have broken the $100 million frontier; with this achievement only occurring 10 times previously.
Our personal joy at seeing an artist such as Basquiat join such accomplished household names of the art world stems from his history as one of the most original street artists from Brooklyn. From spraying his signature crown and SAMO© tag with phrases in the streets of New York to record breaking auction results, Jean-Michel's success fuels credibility for the urban art movement to receive historical recognition as well as appreciation as the current leading genre of contemporary art and cultural commentary. Although he is not alive today to see the world wide awe or critique of his artworks, thanks to the patronage of Yusaku Maezawa, King Samo Lives On!