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Japanese Collector Yusaku Maezawa To Sell Basquiat Work At $70M At Philips

Japanese tycoon Yusaku Maezawa will be selling Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting Untitled (Devil) (1982) in the upcoming contemporary art sale at Philips, New York.

Yusaku Maezawa is a multi-millionaire who made his fortune primarily as the founder of the e-retail company Zozotown. He appeared in the global art collector’s scene in 2016 with the purchase of the Basquiat painting for a record $57.3 million at a Christie’s auction. The next year, he broke his own record of the most expensive Basquiat work when he bought a 1982 painting of a skull by the artist for a whopping $110.5 million. These two purchases made Maezawa a name to be reckoned with in the art world. Since 2016, he has frequently appeared in various Top Collectors lists.

Untitled (Devil) (1982) by Basquiat

Untitled (Devil) was sold in 2016 by Adam Lindemann, a New York art dealer. The painting is 16-foot wide and features an image of a horned devil – a motif common in Basquiat’s art. The work will go on auction at the New York Contemporary art evening sale at Philips. Before the scheduled auction on May 18, the work will be displayed at various branches of Philips, including London and Taipei. The auction for the painting will begin at $70 million but could go well beyond $100 million.

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Philips is the third-largest auction house in the world, after Christie’s and Sotheby’s. While the latter two auction houses often make the news, Philips has also been growing silently in recent years. The auction house generated almost $995 million in revenues in 2021. It also has plans to create new outposts in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.