Untitled 1982 Basquiat work could set new record

An untitled 1982 work by Jean-Michel Basquiat is to cross the block at Christie's New York on May 10.

It was produced in Modena, Italy where the graffiti artist travelled in 1981 to put together a solo exhibition.  

Basquiat Christies 1982
Basquiat produced the untitled work in Italy in 1982

Basquiat was invited there by dealer Emilio Mazzoli, who had seen his paintings in the seminal New York/New Wave show in the spring of 1981.

Basquiat was just 22 years old at the time.

Brett Gorvy, international head of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's, comments: "Due to its striking visual impact, its demonic central figure and its significance within the cannon of Basquiat's career, we are confident that its supreme quality and rarity will command tremendous interest from the world's leading international collectors and it is set to realize one of the highest prices for the artist at auction."

The work has been included in almost every Basquiat retrospective and even serves as the cover for his catalogue raisonne - the comprehensive list of all his known artworks.

It's expected to sell for in excess of $48m, which could result in a new auction record for Basquiat.

His record is $48.8m, set by Dustheads at Christie's in 2013.  

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