Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Haitian-American artist, who started his early carrier focused on graffiti in New York city to then become one of the most polemic artists in the 20th Century, is currently booming the art market. It seems like today, 25 years after his early death, Basquiat’s work could be generating a ‘Pollock effect’. What is driving collectors’ anxiety to have a Basquiat? Because his work achieves price records every year at most important international auctions, and in the last six years such price record has multiplied by six, from the 2007 auction’s peak of $7.3M, to the latest record of $43.5M in May 2013. Will this trend drive his artwork above $100M in the next years? Basquiat always had international recognition in the art world as a living artist. However, it is after his death, with Larry Gagosian’s role in the further development of the name ‘Basquiat’ during 25 years, that the artist has become one of the most outperforming sellers at Post-War and Contemporary art sales. The success of his work at auction has triggered Basquiat to become part of the top 10 artists in terms of volume sold. The graph bellow illustrates the artist’s performance compared to S&P 500 over the last decade, and details the extraordinary evolution since 2008. The excitement produced by his latest records is causing a growth in the demand of his work. Such fact together with large scale pieces and the controversial subjects of his work, that truly connect with his target buyers (i.e. plight of the black race), could push this current excitement for Basquiat further ahead. As the Christie’s specialist, Loic Gouzer, mentioned, I think we’re going to see $100m Basquiat. People have this subconscious panic. People want to buy him before he becomes Pollock. From Beyond Arting we will be excited to see what comes with this fantastic artist!
By Beyond Arting team | Published 10 July, 2013