Monday, May 29, 2017

Billions for a Basquiat!!!

Closer to home, where I seem to be staying more and more lately, the big news in the NYC art world last week was that a Basquiat painting, this Basquiat painting, sold at auction for $110,000,000.  That's right, one hundred and ten zillion dollars, to a 41 year old Japanese fashion billionaire who just had to have it, paying almost twice the pre-auction estimated price.


The painting, described as "virtually unknown" prior to the auction, being in a "private collection since 1982" raises big provenance questions for me, anyway.  Considering the frequency with which people are coming across "new and previously undiscovered" Basquiats, I sometimes wonder how many are real and how many are found by dumpster divers hanging around the side doors of local elementary schools.  Even if the above one was the real McCoy, which I'm sure it may be, I couldn't imagine where I would hang it without being mortified by my judgement, and how I would justify this expense to friends, family, or myself.  

Working within my price range, and following the long standing principle that you should only buy what you like (which would have left me out of the bidding on the Basquiat), I recently bought this lovely little painting of a motor scooter,

by Chester DeWitt Rose, for $400, and I get great pleasure out of looking at it every time I pass by it,  and have no buyer's remorse, but I do like to wonder what would be hanging on my walls if I did have a billion or two.  Hopefully I would remain the sensible person I like to think I am, but probably not.


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