Categories ArtPosted on

Basquiat’s Masterpiece ‘Untitled’ Breaks Artist and Auction Records

Is Jean-Michel Basquiat turning in his grave? Last week in his hometown New York, where he was so badly treated during most of his life, Sotheby’s set an auction record for the artist when ‘Untitled’, a masterpiece from 1982, was purchased by noted collector and entrepreneur, Yusaku Maezawa (the founder of e-commerce giant, Start Today, and ZOZOTOWN, the virtual mall on Japan’s largest fashion e-commerce site), for $110,487,500 (£86,325,105). The price nearly doubled the pre-sale estimate of $60 million after a 10-minute contest between multiple bidders. The painting will eventually be housed in a planned museum based in Mr Maezawa’s hometown of Chiba, Japan. Meanwhile, it will be exhibited in institutions and museums around the world, according to the the brand-new owner.

ean-Michel Basquiat UNTITLED

‘Untitled’ is a landmark canvas created by the artist in 1982 (a time when his career was still at an early stage), rich with imagery now synonymous with the artist, such as the crown and graffiti-like typography sprawling across the canvas. Before being unveiled at Sotheby’s just weeks ago, this work was virtually unknown, having remained in the same private collection since it was purchased at auction in 1984 for $19,000.

As a passionate collector and patron of the arts, Mr Maezawa is a great champion of both established and young artists around the world. His interest in Japanese antiquity extends to a great collection of rare, historical objects; not to mention modern and contemporary works that include more by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Mark Grotjahn, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Jeff Koons, Bruce Nauman, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince and Christopher Wool.

The price achieved for the latest ‘Untitled’ eclipsed the previous auction record for the artist established in May 2016, when another ‘Untitled’ work from 1982 was also purchased by Mr Maezawa for $57.3 million (nearly £45 million). It seems that ‘Air Power’, which went under the hammer at Sotheby’s London as part of David Bowie collection on the evening of 10th November 2016 for a mere £7,093,000 was a very good deal.

After the announcement of his purchase via Instagram and Twitter, Mr Maezawa commented later to Sotheby’s: “When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art. I want to share that experience with as many people as possible around the world – regardless of age or background or whether they are a collector or not. One day the painting will be a centrepiece of my museum in my hometown Chiba, but before then I wish to loan this piece – which has been unseen by the public for more than 30 years – to institutions and exhibitions around the world. I hope it brings as much joy to others as it does to me, and that this masterpiece by the 21-year-old Basquiat inspires our future generations.” SEEN just hopes that London will also have the chance to admire it, even if it is just for a short while.

Seen this week

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Fever-Tree’s Very Own Gin School 

London has always had an enthusiastic relationship with gin; right from the days when the water was undrinkable, gin has become the city’s tipple of choice. Imagine SEEN’s joy therefore, when we heard that this month, gin and tonic experts, Fever-Tree, is launching its very own Fever-Tree Gin School.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Bufle: Launch of the Bubble-Waffle

SEEN has heard much of the phenomenon of the Asian Bubble-Waffle and thus was very keen to sample this Hong Kong import for herself. My guest and I found ourselves in a bright, buzzy bar/café with tables and plenty of counters and high stools. It’s in Rupert Street, between Soho and busy Leicester Square.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Arthur Hooper’s Weekend Brunch

SEEN has been a huge fan of Arthur Hooper’s since their May opening. It’s handily located close to Borough Market (where much of their ingredients are sourced), so it is with great delight that we hear weekend brunches are now on the menu too.

Categories MusicPosted on

Adam Prince King’s New Single

SEEN has been enjoying the latest offering from London native and lyrical pop artist Adam Prince King, who has announced the release of his new single ‘Before The Sun Goes Down’. The single is the follow-up to his debut hit ‘Flamingos’, which went viral upon its release in 2016.

Categories DesignPosted on

Arclinea and B&B Italia at the London Design Festival 2017

SEEN keenly anticipates this year’s London Design Festival, taking place from 16th – 24th September. Not least because B&B Italia will launch their partnership with Arclinea high-end designer kitchens. The brand will also celebrate the UK debut of its 2017 collections, including the 20th anniversary edition of the iconic Charles seating system; all to be revealed with a new look for its B&B Italia London store on Brompton Road.