Christie’s Offers Rare Opportunity To Purchase $30 Million Basquiat Triptych

For the first time ever, auction house Christie’s is bringing a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat to the open market.

Basquiat’s 1982 triptych Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict (1982) will be offered in Christie’s contemporary art evening sale. Bidding for the painting — which is almost seven-foot wide — will start at around $30 million according to a Christie’s spokesperson. However, an estimate is only available upon request. 

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict is a three-part painting on a wood panel. The painting alludes to Basquiat’s fame with several references to death. At the bottom of the painting’s middle panel, the word “Morte” is written above the image of the Cross. In another section of the painting, Basquiat’s recurring motif — the outline of a crown — can be seen. 

Basquiat died in 1988 at the age of 27. In the past year, the prices of his work have seen a rapid rise. Only seven works by the artist have been auctioned for more than $30 million, with three of these having been sold in the last year.  

While Christie’s contemporary art evening sale is set to take place in May, the auction house is yet to confirm a date for the sale of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict.

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