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“Warrior” By Jean-Michel Basquiat Breaks Price Record For Western Art Sold In Asia At $41.7 Million

When compared to “Warrior’s” prior sales history, which included auctions at Christie’s where it purportedly sold for $1.5 million in 2005 and then $5.6 million around two years later, the sale price represents a significant increase.

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Even though the price may have been at the lower end of presale estimates, it was enough to break a price record for western art in Asia. The fact that the auction took place in London with anonymous bidders from New York and Hong Kong competing for the item over the phone caused even that record to be broken on somewhat of a technicality.

The sale price is a significant increase above “Warrior’s” prior sales history, which included auctions at Christie’s where it purportedly sold for $1.5 million in 2005 and $5.6 million about two years later.

LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages

AFP/Getty Images LEON NEAL

The energy of Basquiat’s work was at its peak in this period (1981–1982), and it is uncommon to have a large one like this. If you look at ‘La Hara,’ which we sold for $34.9 million in New York in 2017, it was from the same period, of the same dimensions, and it had the same rawness about it, the same reality about what was happening in New York in 1981–1982. So, historically speaking, this period is the best for Basquiat.

Despite the sale’s geographical limitations, Christie’s Hong Kong organized it as part of a deliberate effort to shatter price records in the area. If Asian art collectors continue to demonstrate an increased interest in western art, the record may not stand for very long before it is surpassed.

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