Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork sets $110m auction record

  • 19/05/2017
The work was bought for $19,000 when it was last on sale in 1984 (Supplied)
The work was bought for $19,000 when it was last on sale in 1984 (Supplied)

An artwork by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat took just 10 minutes to set an auction record for highest price for a single work, going, going and gone for US$110.5m.

The 1982 graffiti work of a skull, called 'Untitled', sold at Sotheby's auction house on Thursday (local time).

The auction house says its sale marks the highest price for a work by an American artist and for any work post-1980.

It was a massive night for the late New York native born to a Haitian father and Puerto Rican mother and who died in 1988, with five of his paintings selling for a combined US$129.3m.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (Getty) are united states auction
Jean-Michel Basquiat (Getty)

To have 'Untitled' on the market was a rare sight for avid collectors, with the piece being "virtually unseen" since it was last up for sale in 1984 and was bought for just US$19,000, the auction house says.

Basquiat's life was turned into a biopic in 1996 and starred Jeffrey Wright as the titular character.