Friday 18 May 2018

At $3.38m, Akunyili Crosby gets new auction record

A acrylic, village and colour pencil on paper titled 'Bush Babies' by Njideka Akunyili Crosby. 

Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s painting titled 'Bush Babies' sold for $3.38 million, has set a new auction record for the artist at the just held Sotheby's New York sale.

According to reports monitored on the auction, Sotheby's sold a total $392.3 million of art in New York, and set
15 records.
 Recall that at a Christie's London auction two years ago, Akunyili Crosby's
'The Beautyful Ones' sold for $3,075,774.
 In less than one year, from 2015, sales for the Nigerian-born Los Angeles-based artist rose from less than $100,000 to more than $3 million. It's a phenomenal rise for an African artist.

The star sale of Wednesday's Sotheby's New York sale, a monumental painting titled 'Flesh and Spirit' by late graffiti artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for $30.7 million. A Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa bought a Basquiat painting of a skull at Sotheby’s for $110.5 million last year May, and made auction record for an American artist.

Apart from Akunyili Crosby, two black artists had impressive sales, even higher than the Nigerian artist. 'Past Times', a painting by Chicago-based artist Kerry James Marshall, sold for $21.1 million, a record for a living black artist at auction. Six months ago, the artist made record with $5 million. Barkley Hendricks’s portrait of a woman 'Brenda P' sold for $2.18 million, a record for the late artist at auction.

However, there was a controvers over 'Flesh and Spirit'. Neumann, the former collector who died in 2016, bought 'Flesh and Spirit' in 1983 for $15,000.
 Her husband of 62 years, Hubert Neumann, was reported to have attempted stopping  the auction, claiming in a lawsuit that his wife tried to disinherit him in a will executed while she was “receiving serious medical treatment”.

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