Jean‐Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Pollo Frito) (1982). Courtesy Sotheby's.
It’s no secret that Interest in Jean-Michele Basquiat’s work has reached fever pitch. And if the fall season is any indication, the temperature isn’t abating anytime soon.
Days before the Fondation Louis Vuitton is set to unveil a major show of the late artist’s work, Sotheby’s has announced a blockbuster consignment of four Basquiat works for its upcoming contemporary evening auction in New York on November 14.
The group is conservatively estimated at between $34.5 million to $39 million, but it could potentially sell for far more.
The star lot of the bunch is Untitled (Pollo Frito), 1982, a diptych which has never appeared at auction before and is estimated in the region of $25 million. Sotheby’s declined to comment on the consignor except to say that the works are from a private European collection.
The second-highest estimated work, Taxi, 45th/Broadway (circa 1984), is a collaboration between the artist and Andy Warhol that was formerly in the collection of Gianni Versace.
The current estimate on the work is $6 million to $8 million. In a sign of how far the Basquiat market has come, the work last appeared at auction at Sotheby’s London in 2005, where the consignor snapped it up for £478,400 ($872,992), on an estimate of £180,000 to £250,000 ($328,000 to $456,000).
If the work even gets close to its pre-sale estimate, the price will be around six times what the consignor paid for it 13 years ago.