Jean-Michel Basquiat's Untitled beats world record by 11.7% in NY sale

An auction of contemporary art saw Jean-Michel Basquiat's Untitled set a new world record for the artist in New York yesterday (May 10).

Jean-Michel Basquiat - Untitled (1981)
Jean-Michel Basquiat - Untitled (1981)

The piece sold for $16.3m, shattering its estimate of $8-12m. The painting surpassed the previous record for the artist at auction of $14.6m, which was held by another untitled work from 1981, set at Christie's in 2007.

The sale represents an 11.7% increase on the previous record, highlighting the escalating value of the artist. Those looking to invest in Jean-Michel Basquiat will want to read Paul Fraser Collectibles' preview of a May 22 sale in Dallas, which is due to be highlighted by another of his pieces.

The record-breaking painting perfectly epitomises Basquiat's body of work, having been created in his most productive year. Featuring the inherent religious iconography that is present in a majority of Basquiat's later works, the piece depicts a Christ-figure with arms splayed, sporting a crown of thorns.

The auction also saw artist world records set by Seth Price's Untitled, which brought $92,500, and Dana Schutz's Death Comes to All, which made $482,500.

Willem de Kooning's Untitled VI brought the second highest bids in the sale, with a final price of $12.4m.

There has never been a better time to invest in contemporary art, with several important record prices achieved at auction in the last few weeks. The global art market has enjoyed a huge resurgence since the global economic crisis, increasing by 63% since 2009. This has been attributed in large part to investors, who are looking to secure their money in more reliable ventures.

PFC Auctions, the sister company to Paul Fraser Collectibles, has a number of entry-level works for those looking to boost their art collection. This original drawing by Salvador Dali provides a superb addition to any portfolio.

For more advice on investing in high-end art from Paul Fraser Collectibles' experts, click here.



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