Painting purchased in 1984 for $19,000, just sold for $110 million

Bloomberg:

An untitled portrait by Jean Michel-Basquiat sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s in New York, setting a record for any American artist. The buyer was Japanese online retail magnate Yusaku Maezawa.

And:

The painting, which had a presale estimate of more than $60 million, was bought at auction in 1984 for $19,000 by the late collectors Jerry and Emily Spiegel.

We were chatting about this purchase yesterday and someone asked how much that 1984 $19,000 was worth in today’s dollars. An interesting question. Take a guess, purely based on inflation. Then go to this inflation calculator and see how close you came.



  • Brandon

    $110.5 million?!? Wow, I do not understand modern art. If I saw this painting at a garage sale for free, I would probably pass.

    • Mo

      I want to know what successful purveyors of modern art are getting paid.

      • Shawnjbrixey

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