Sotheby's Contemporary Art Auctions Preview

Source: Tristan Fewings / Getty

World-renowned artist and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 artwork named Untitled has broken a record for the most expensive in-app purchase ever. The painting went for a mind-boggling $10.8 million through an app called Fair Warning.

The piece, which is oil stick on paper, was originally estimated to go for between $8 million and $12 million.

Fair Warning, which is an artwork auction app, sees that a single piece of artwork is auctioned off every week. The idea came from former Christie’s co-chair Loïc Gouzer, and him wanting to see if the sale of artwork can make the switch to online sales as a way to adhere to social distancing and keep everyone safe.

“It’s really an experiment,” said Gouzer. “The idea was to create a guerrilla type of auction system where you could start moving paintings by using the cloud rather than physical locations.”

Fair Warning is currently invitation-only, creating a VIP like atmosphere. While it is entering a market with outlets like Sotheby’s and Christie’s that are open-ended outlets.

Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Puerto Rican and Haitian parents who implemented art early into his life by taking him to the art museums in Manhattan and enrolling him as a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He rose to prominence quickly in the late 70s, and by 1980 he was selling single pieces for as much as $25,000.

In July, his Victor 25448 piece sold for millions with a portion of the proceeds going to the Art for Justice Fund.

“The Art for Justice Fund is a five-year initiative created by philanthropist Agnes Gund in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the Ford Foundation. The Fund is dedicated to combating the injustices of mass incarceration through the collective action of artists, advocates, and philanthropists,” states the fund’s mission.

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