Hefty Bid: Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 16-Feet Wide ‘Untitled’ Painting Sells for a Record $85 Million at Phillip’s Evening Sale - Arts & Culture

Works by Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso also went under the hammer that night.

Jean Michel Basquiat’s Untitled piece broke records at Philips’ 20th-Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York on May 18.

Philips sold the 16-feet wide canvas painting (one of Basquiat’s largest works) to a buyer in Asia through a Phillips representative in Taipei, Taiwan, for $85 million.

READ ALSO: Some Like It Hot: Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe Painting Sells For Record $195 Million

Initially, American art collector Adam Lindemann owned Untitled after purchasing it for $4.5 Million in 2004. Twelve years later, Japanese retail billionaire Yusaku Maezawa bought the work at a then-record-breaking price of $57.3 million. 


Basquiat, who died in 1988 at only 27 years old due to a drug overdose, is known for his raw painting style with graffiti-like images and scrawled text. Untitled is said to be the New York native’s self-portrait from 1982 as he soared to international fame. 

Untitled (1982) by Jean-Michel Basquiat / Image fromPhillips.com

Today, his work remains relevant in pop culture. Last August, Tiffany & Co. released a campaign featuring “music royalty” couple Beyonce and Jay-Z posing with Basquiat’s Equals Pi (1982). 

Before Untitled, Philips’ most expensive lot sold was Andy Warhol‘s Men in Her Life painting in 2010.

In total, Philips’ 20th-Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale offered 36 lots and garnered $224.9 million, the highest sale the house has seen in a single auction. 

Other notable artworks included Yayoi Kusama’s Untitled, Yves Klein’s Monochrome bleu sans titre, Pablo Picasso’s Figures et plante, and Andy Warhol’s Flowers.

Banner photo from phillips.com

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