Art And Culture

Brooklyn Museum to Show Record-Breaking Basquiat Painting

The untitled Jean-Michel Basquiat picture which was sold  at Sotheby’s for $110 million last May.The untitled Jean-Michel Basquiat picture which was sold  at Sotheby’s for $110 million last May.

Last May, after an untitled Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) picture of a skull sold at Sotheby’s for $110.5 million - shattering the record for the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction by an American - the buyer could not contain his excitement about the purchase for very long.

After just a few minutes of fevered speculation as to who secured the work, the Japanese collector Yusaku Maezawa took to Instagram to declare himself the buyer. “I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece,” he said.

The work, created in 1982 portrays a black skull scarred with red rivulets, pitted with angry eyes, gnashing its teeth, against a blue graffiti wall on which someone has been doing their sums.

On January 11, the Basquiat canvas appeared on Maezawa’s Instagram feed once again, but for a different announcement: The work will re-emerge when it comes to the Brooklyn Museum in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, for an exhibition all its own, called ‘One Basquiat’ which will open January 26, Artnews reported.

“I am thrilled to be sending Basquiat’s masterpiece home to Brooklyn,” Maezawa said in a press release. “It is my hope that through the exhibition and extensive program accompanying it, the young people of the borough will be inspired by their local hero, just as he has inspired so many of us around the world.”

It is indeed a homecoming for Basquiat, who grew up in Park Slope, in an apartment a 30-minute walk away from the borough’s biggest museum. The Brooklyn institution has devoted exhibitions to his life and work before, most recently “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks” in 2015.

The show is organized by Eugenie Tsai, the museum’s senior curator of contemporary art, and it will be up through March 11.

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