Do you remember the Basquiat sold during a Sotheby’s auction last May in New York?
A powerful 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting of a skull brought $110.5 million. Become the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction.
Who was the buyer?
After the sustained applaused, a Japanese billionaire called Yusaku Maezawa revealed himself to be the new owner through a post in his Instagram account, saying “I am happy to announce that I just won this masterpiece. When I first encountered this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art. I want to share that experience with as many people as possible.”
Later, he told Sotheby’s that he acquired this painting for a planned museum in his hometown, Chiba, in Japan. “But before then I wish to loan this piece – which has been unseen by the public for more than 30 years – to institutions and exhibitions around the world,” he said in a statement. “I hope it brings as much joy to others as is does to me, and that this masterpiece by the 21-year-old Basquiat inspires our future generations.”
Just five months after he bought it, he sends his 110 million dollars Basquiat on “world tour”. He broke the news on Instagram, saying he hopes that his artworks will be “loved by the people all over the world”. He writes: “Good-bye for a while my Basquiat. I am hoping that you will be loved by people all over the world and move the hearts of people around the world. See you again soon. Have a good trip! #JeanMichelBasquiat #worldtour #imissyou.”
It is not already clear where the artwork will be shown.
Yusaku Maezawa (b. 1975) is a Japanese entrepreneur and art collector. In May 2017, he was estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $3.6 billion. He is the 14th richest person in Japan.
He founded the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation in 2012. His mission is “to support young artists as a pillar of the next generation of contemporary art.”
In May 2016, he acquired another Jean-Michel Basquiat for $57.3 million, as a record purchase. During the same auction, he bought pieces by Alexander Calder, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and Bruce Nauman, spending $98 million over two days.