Japanese Entrepreneur Sets Auction Record With $110.4 Million Bid for Basquiat Painting

A Japanese entrepreneur is taking home Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Untitled” from Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on Thursday for a staggering price tag of $110,487,500.

It’s a record bid for the 1982 masterpiece initially pegged to sell for as much as $60 million. According to Blouin Artinfo, this is the highest paid price for an American artist’s work at an auction.

Entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, who also happens to be an art collector, will house the painting at his planned museum in his hometown of Chiba, Japan.

“I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece. When I saw 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 around the world,” he said about his purchase on Instagram.

Maezawa, whose interests span from the works of antiquity to contemporary times, also broke a previous record for another piece, “Untitled”, in May 2016, which he paid $57.3 million for.

He is known for founding Start Today and ZOZOTOWN, an e-commerce platform and an online retail mall, respectively.

Maezawa plans to loan the painting to avenues around the world before he takes it home. “I hope it brings as much joy to others as it does to me, and that this masterpiece by the 21-year-old Basquiat inspires our future generations,” he said.

Photos via Instagram / Yusaku Maezawa

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