Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa is auctioning one of his prized Basquiat paintings at Phillips on May 18 for an estimated price of around $70 million. The 8-by-16-foot Basquiat’s Untitled, 1982 painting features a horned devil-like figure that curators have suggested could be the former New York graffiti artist’s conflicted self-portrait.
Yusaku Maezawa said, “The past six years of having Basquiat’s Untitled was nothing but a great pleasure and it has become a memorable piece in my collection. I believe that art collections are something that should always continue to grow and evolve as the owner does. I also believe that it should be shared so that it can be a part of everyone’s lives. I hope that Untitled will continue its great journey in good hands and that it will bring smiles to many people all around the world. In the near future, I plan on exhibiting my ever-emerging art collection at a museum I am currently planning to create. I look forward to the day I can share it with you.”
The massive artwork will go on international tour, being displayed in London, Los Angeles, Taipei before heading to New York headquarters at 432 Park Avenue, the statement said. Maezawa, is also the owner of the most expensive Basquiat painting ever sold at Sotheby’s auction in May 2017, when he paid $110.5 million.