Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Warrior" Estimated To Fetch Over US$40 Million At Auction This March
Jean-Michel Basquiat's masterpiece, Warrior, is the star of Christie's upcoming auction titled, We Are All Warriors – The Basquiat Auction, to be held in Hong Kong in conjunction with Christie's London week. The landmark work represents the pinnacle of Basquiat's creative output and is set to be the most expensive Western artwork ever offered in Asia with whooping estimates of HK$240,000–320,000,000 or US$31,000,000–41,000,000.
Warrior was painted in 1982 during the height of Basquiat's artistic power. It is a commanding and authoritative portrait that amply demonstrates why the artist is regarded as one of the most important painters of the last half-century. The work will be offered in a sale format that highlights Basquiat's international appeal through a live-streamed, singe-lot evening sale that will unite collectors from different regions and timezones. The piece will also be auctioned by Christie's global president, Jussi Pylkkänen.
The upcoming sale is poised to be a milestone for the Western art market in Asia with the sale of Warrior following a record-breaking season of 20th and 21st-century art sales in Hong Kong last December, with phenomenal prices fuelled by Asian collectors.
Basquiat's Warrior is considered an artwork of groundbreaking importance for various reasons such as it being one of Basquiat's finest creations as it a masterful example of his artistic language reaching maturity and showcasing his celebrated raw, exuberant energy.
The piece can also be interpreted as a semi-autobiographic work championing Basquiat's creative vision as a black artist who was highly aware of the absence of representation of black people in art history. By depicting a powerful warrior in full-length, wielding his silver sword and barreling his penetrating eyes directly toward the viewer, this gladiatorial figure has been a crucial subject that Basquiat explored in his numerous sketches leading up to this work.
Warrior has also been displayed in numerous exhibitions around the globe since its exhibition debut in 1983. It was one of the centrepieces of the 2019 exhibition Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center in New York City.
The We Are All Warriors – The Basquiat Auction will take place on March 23 at 22/F, Alexandra House, 18 Charter Road, Central, Hong Kong.