Basquiat Masterpiece Sold At Christie’s For £25m Remains Uncollected By Buyer


The sale of a £25m/$37.1 m painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat at Christie’s, New York, on 13 May this year has led to a commercial statement to be filed in New York. The Field Next to the Other Road created in (1981), was consigned by the dealer Tony Shafrazi to Christie’s auctioneers for their Post-War and Contemporary evening sale The winning bidder has never been revealed and it looks likely that the sale has fallen through even though Christie’s has consistently denied this. The underbidder Christoph Van de Weghe told the Art Newspaper at the time,  “I was sorry not to get it,” 

Recently a Uniform Commercial Code-1 (UCC1) filing statement showed Shafrazi still legally owned the artwork months after the auction finished. The Art Newspaper pointed out that UCC1 statements “serve to publicly declare a debt so that the same object cannot be used as collateral in more than one deal”. The papers filed referencing the Basquiat on 28 July reveals Christie’s loaned money to Shafrazi and his gallery, with the dealer using the painting as collateral, although title to the painting has remained with Shafrazi. A spokesperson for Christie’s Auctioneers, said; “We can confirm the lot was sold at auction,” With no further comments. 

It has been a monumental year for Basquiat prices at auction, placing the artist in the top 10 best selling names for Modern and Contemporary at auction. Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in New York City in 1960, and died in 1988 in the city of his birth. He worked with an intentional childishness that contrasted sharply with his catalog of intellectual, sociopolitical, anatomical, historical, and graphic influences. Friends, lovers, celebrities and unknowns, revealed him to be a singularly driven creative personality who could paint masterpieces in an hour. His famous friend and collaborator Andy Warhol became extreme jealous of his youth and ability.


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