Purchased In 1984 For $19,000, Basquiat Painting Sells For “Mind-Blowing” $111 Million

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / May 19, 2017 7:48 AM

It could be the single best unlevered investment in recent history.

A portrait by New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a remarkable $110.5 million – nearly double the $60 million expected take – during a Sotheby’s auction Thursday night in New York, according to Bloomberg. The sale set a new record for an American artist, and has become one of now 10 paintings in the “$100 Million Club,” according to the New York Times.

The sale of the painting, “Untitled,” made for a thrilling moment at Sotheby’s postwar and contemporary auction as at least four bidders on the phones and in the room sailed past the $60 million level at which the work — forged from oil stick and spray paint — had been guaranteed to sell by a third party.

The Basquat is now among the most-expensive pieces of contemporary art ever auctioned. It set a new record for any U.S. artist at auction, besting the $105.4 million paid four years ago for Andy Warhol’s “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster).”

“It’s a really historical moment,” said Larry Warsh, a longtime Basquiat collector. “It does cement this artist once again.”  Warsh also said that the sale was “mind-blowing” and added that “I’m not usually impressed by numbers, but this is really out of the boundaries.”