Jean-Michel Basquiat's Infantry grows 57% in two years

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Infantry (1983) was the star lot of Sotheby's #TTOP sale in Hong Kong last night.

It sold for $6m, an increase of 17.6% on its $5.1m valuation.

Basquiat Infantry 1983
Basquiat was heavily influenced by cartoons

The work was painted at the high point of Basquiat's fame. In fact it was one of a series of works he exhibited at the 1983 Whitney Biennial.

Basquiat harboured dreams of being a cartoon artist when he was younger and this playful work, with its lurid colours and bumped heads, displays his affection for the form.

The piece last sold for £2.4m ($3.8m) at Christie's in 2014, meaning it has achieved growth of 57.8% over the past two years.

That's 25.6% per annum.

No wonder collectors are buying up Basquiat paintings in droves.

The auction was curated in part by K-pop star and art lover T.O.P. and was aimed at a younger audience.

An untitled canvas by Rudolf Stingel achieved $2m.

The lot dates to 2012 and is from a 2007 installation shown in New York and Chicago. Stingel invited visitors to carve into celotex panels, which he then cast into copper and plated with gold.

As Sotheby's explains: "The marks that were made on the celotex panels are linked to a specific moment when an individual interacted with the pieces in 2007…

"Conversely, the casting process was relatively immediate, capturing all of the markings, signifiers of different moments, into an overall composition."

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