Jean-Michel Basquiat's Monticello auctions for $1m in Paris

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Monticello has continued the artist's success at auction, seeing the highest bids in Digard Auctions' Urban Contemporary Art sale in Paris.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Monticello
Basquiat began his career as a graffiti artist, before going on to fascinate the fine art market

The piece sold for $1m, comfortably within its $826,500-1.2m estimate - a mid-level example of Basquiat's work.

The auction house commented: "Monticello… offers both an economic and a political interpretation, as a comment on unbridled capitalism and racism. By smearing the text on the painting, Basquiat emphasizes the plurality of American society as he expresses solidarity with its minorities."

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) is a perfect choice to lead an urban contemporary art sale, as he began his career creating graffiti on the streets of New York under the pseudonym SAMO. His work then attracted the attention of the city's artistic elite, particularly Andy Warhol, seeing Basquiat advanced to the forefront of the fine art market.

The market for Basquiat's work has reached new heights in recent years, with several records set. The current auction record is held by Dustheads at $48.8m, following a Christie's sale in May.

See Wikicollecting's Top 10 Basquiat paintings sold at auction.  

Banksy Sid Vicious
Banksy is undoubtedly the most collectible of all living urban artists, rivalled only by the US' Shepard Fairey

Achieving some of the strongest bids in the sale was Banksy, who has recently once again courted media attention during a month long residency in New York. His Sid Vicious, an Andy Warhol inspired print of the Sex Pistols star, sold for $162,292 - a 47% increase on its $110,400 high estimate.

A work from the same series sold for $130,172 at Sotheby's earlier this year, demonstrating the increasing value of Banksy's work.

Also starring was fellow market leader Shepard Fairey's War is Over, which sold for $87,549 to realise a 59.1% increase on its $55,200 high estimate. Profits from the sale will go to City Kids, a New York charity that has long standing associations with artist Keith Haring.

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