A 1982 artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a record $110.5 million at Sotheby's auction of contemporary art Thursday night. It was first bought for $19,000.
Sotheby's said the sale of "Untitled" was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction, topping the $105 million paid in 2013 for Andy Warhol's "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)."
The painting's graffiti-like typography depicts a face in the shape of a skull.
Sotheby's just sold this Basquiat 1982 masterpiece for $110 million, smashing a new auction record for the US artist to cheers and applause pic.twitter.com/dhv3TTRnPO— Jennie Matthew (@jenniematthew) May 19, 2017
The 1982 masterpiece that sold for $110 million.
The piece was purchased by noted Japanese collector and e-commerce entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war that was watched by thousands live on Instagram.
"When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art," said Maezawa, who plans to display it in his museum in Chiba, Japan after loaning it to institutions and exhibitions around the world.
#AuctionUpdate: $110.5 million makes Basquiat's 'Untitled' the highest-ever price at auction for an artwork created post-1980— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) May 19, 2017
"Untitled" was virtually unknown before it was unveiled at Sotheby's weeks ago.
The previous auction record for a Basquiat work was set last May when "Untitled, 1982" sold for $57.3 million, also to Maezawa.
Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at the age of 27.
Auction attendees pulled out their phones to capture the moment at every turn.
--The Associated Press contributed to this report.