Jean-Michel Basquiat's Warrior up 14.87% pa in five years

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Warrior was the top lot at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on May 26 in a further display of the US artist's growing power on the auction scene.

The 1982 piece sold within estimate for £5.6m, 14.87% pa up on the £2.8m figure it achieved at Sotheby's London in 2007.

Basquiat Warrior
The Basquiat market is hot

Depicting a black figure with a sword, its time in the spotlight may be short-lived, however.

That's because a $20m-valued untitled artwork is anticipated to break the graffiti/Neo-expressionist artist's world record at Christie's London tonight.

His current record stands at $16.3m, set by another untitled artwork in May.

Basquiat died in 1988 from a heroin overdose, aged just 27, his early death boosting the mystique of his works with the art-buying public.

Elsewhere in last night's sale Glenn Brown's depiction of the end of the world almost doubled its £2.8m estimate, selling for a new record for the artist of £5.2m.

Meanwhile Francis Bacon's Study for Self-Portrait, painted in 1980 and regarded as one of his most stunning self-portraits, sold just below estimate for £4.5m. It will be fascinating to see if another Bacon study  can redress the balance tonight at Christie's. Featuring Bacon's head with the body of Lucian Freud, we expect it to make in the region of £25m.

"With buyers from 15 different countries, the global demand for this area of the market [Contemporary] continues to be underlined," said Cheyenne Westphal, Sotheby's chairman of Contemporary art for Europe, following the sale.

Those looking to invest in their own works of art can find our current stock of art and photography for sale here.

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