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Basquiat's Triptych Heads Back to Auction for the Second Time in Three Years, With a Significant Price Decline

Jean-Michel Basquiat's acclaimed 1982 triptych "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict" is preparing to hit the auction block once again, this time at a Sotheby's modern and contemporary sale in London later this month. This will be the second time the work has been auctioned in the past three years. Nonetheless, the work appears to have substantially declined in value since its last outing at auction just two years ago.


When Christie's offered the sprawling, seven-foot-wide painting in 2022, it carried a lofty $30 million estimate. But in a confounding move, the work was calmly withdrawn from the sale just before the auction took place. Now, Sotheby's has placed a more modest $15 million to $20 million estimate on the piece - a drop of at least 30% from the previous valuation.


As experts suggest, the dip in price reflects the changing dynamics of the current art market, where collectors seem to be exercising more caution and restraint when it comes to their multimillion-dollar bids. In alliance with that mutation, auction houses have also had to adjust their estimates to better align with these new, high-interest rate-driven purchasing norms.


Despite the lower valuation, the upcoming sale of this Basquiat triptych is still poised to be a closely watched event. The artist's works have long commanded astronomically high prices, crediting his status as one of the most sought-after names in the contemporary art world. In recent years, Basquiat's market has truly soared, with over $125 million worth of his art changing hands just this past May alone.


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Basquiat's Triptych Heads Back to Auction for the Second Time in Three Years, With a Significant Price Decline

June 22, 2024

Fredrick Favour

1 min read

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