Basquiat’s Biggest Auction Sale Yet

05.11.12 Marina Galperina

Last night at Phillips de Pury & Company, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled 1981 sold for $16.3 million with premium, outselling Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol. At the time of conception, a work like this would have sold for measly tens of thousands. Allegedly, private non-auction sales are wield price tags much greater than last night’s.

Flash to 2000, when surprised critics ooh’ed at Basquiat breaking half a million, urging collectors to hold on to the Basquiats: “Once a blue-chip artist’s paintings begin to command more than $500,000, you may have more options than you think.” Oh, really.