Basquiat is the New Van Gogh

James Adams has an interesting year-end take on the art market in the Globe and Mail that is worth parsing into a few different posts. The broader subject of the story is whether the art market is sustainable. In other words, it’s another bubble article.

But within that tired thesis (we’ll have more on that in another post) there’s this take on Basquiat:

Some, for instance, read the fact that three canvases by Basquiat, dead since 1988, set successive auction records this year as each came up for bidding as an irrevocable sign the end is nigh. To them, Basquiat is overwrought, overrated, overvalued. That a Basquiat can be auctioned now for almost $30-million while an Italian Renaissance masterpiece goes for $16-million is proof of a world at once out of joint and in need of a crash.

Others, though, think the Basquiat market is destined for greater heights. In a recent online post, New York collector Mickey Cartin recounts a conversation he had earlier this year with a fellow collector who “mentioned rather emphatically that Basquiat, as a market phenomenon, will soon be seen as the next van Gogh,” with a per-canvas price range of $50-million to $250-million to reflect that.

Tracking the Tricky Art Bubble (Globe and Mail)