A painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for $110.5 million (£85m) at a #New York auction on Thursday, turning the work into the most expensive among any US artist at an auction. “#Untitled” was bought by a Japanese entrepreneur, Yusaku Maezawa (above), who shared the news to the public through an Instagram post of him and the painting. The 41-year-old billionare had purchased Basquiat’s painting over the phone.

The painting

Basquiat finished “Untitled” in 1982. The work was never seen before in the virtual space prior to the reveal at Sotheby’s, who said that the painting was bought at auction for $19,000 in 1984. The painting is a combination of oil stick, acrylic paint and spray paint that create a crazy looking face in the form of a skull.

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Basquiat, who never received a high school diploma, gained his fame in the late 70s and early 80s for adopting graffiti in his fine art paintings, along with other artists in his class, such as Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring. Last year another one of his untitled canvas work was sold to the same Japanese collector for $57.3 million.

A new home for ‘Untitled’

As a contemporary art collector, Maezawa has quite a penchant for Basquiat’s works. Of his current purchase, the billionaire had said that he was struck with “so much excitement and gratitude” for his love of art and that he wanted to share that experience with as many people as possible. He created a fashion retail website called Zozotown and founded the Contemporary Art Foundation. His contemporary art collection includes masterpieces from Pablo Picasso, another Basquiat, and a work by Richard Prince, who “steals” other people’s Instagram to sell as his.

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Maezawa told the Guardian that he planned to exhibit Untitled (1982) in a new museum in his hometown in Chiba, but not before he loans the work to other institutions and exhibitions around the world.

The current art market

There are only several paintings that have been sold for more than $100 million at auction. Basquiat’s “Untitled” was unveiled by Grégoire Billault, the head of Sotheby’s contemporary art department in New York. Before Basquiat’s masterpiece was sold, the most expensive painting was a work by Paul Gauguin, “Nafea Faa Ipoip?” Or When Will You Marry?, sold in 2015 for almost $300 million. So why do these paintings sell for such a high price? According to Patrick van Maris of The European Fine Art Fair (Tefaf) the painting’s history is a large pricing factor for the work. 20th century art are more likely to be available for sale than classics the likes of Mona Lisa, Gustav Klimt, or Jackson Pollock.