Arts & Entertainment

Basquiat leads Christie’s 21st Century art auction in New York

New York City, US, Nov 9 (EFE).- A painting by Haitian-American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat led Tuesday’s 21st Century art auction at Christie’s as his “Guilt of Gold Teeth” sold for $42.7 million.

Despite being one of the largest works painted by Basquiat in 1982, considered his best year, the piece, 2.40 meters high and more than 4 meters long, barely reached Christie’s minimum estimate of $40 million and fell far short of the $80 million maximum price that its experts had calculated.

However, its value has shot up since the painting last went up for auction in 1998, when it sold for less than $400,000, as collectors’ taste for Basquiat has skyrocketed.

In the first half of this year alone, Basquiat’s works have generated $302 million at auctions, only behind Pablo Picasso, according to specialized website Artnet.

A second work by Basquiat, “Flash in Naples,” sold for just under $20 million in total, surpassing the $14-18 million estimate of the auction house.

Another piece that stood out was the first dynamic physical work by Beeple (Mike Winkelmann), the artist who in May set a record for a piece of digital art, which sold in NFT format for $69 million.

“Human One” (2021) reached a hammer price of $25 million – $28.9 million with fees and taxes – almost double the $15 million that the British auction house had estimated.

The work, accompanied by an NFT, is a kinetic video sculpture made up of four large screens showing an endless program of visual works pulled from the artist’’s creations, as well as dual media servers, polished aluminum and a wood frame.

It is a piece that will evolve over time, as Beeple intends to update the virtual works in response to current events, “creating an eternally contemporary work of art,” according to the Christie’s statement.

A monumental work by the Scotsman Peter Doig, “Swamped” (1990), reached a hammer price of $34.5 million, coming to $39.8 million with taxes and fees, a record for this artist.

Among the lesser-known artists, American Hilary Pecis stood out, with her painting “Upstairs Interior” (2019) selling for $870,000, more than 10 times the upper estimate by experts. EFE


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