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To create a monumental promotional piece to highlight the star of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sale: Untitled, 1982, by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, a fiercely magnetic, visceral, and expressive artist, would most likely have scoffed at the traditional auction catalog. So, our approach was to create a zine-inspired newsprint publication using 1980s type. The design sought to be expressive, raw and enticing by using gritty, low-fi aesthetic blend of contextual photography with words made to be more expressive to show the real, raw feeling behind them. The publication was distributed from ubiquitous (and almost grimy) newspaper vending machines that would have been right at home in 1982. The newspaper served as a souvenir to promote the painting.
Achieving a record-shattering $110.5 million, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled, 1982, led the $319 million Contemporary Art Evening sale on 18 May 2017. The price is the highest paid at auction for a work by an American artist and for any artwork created after 1980. It was purchased by the original owners for $19,000 in 1984. The buyer was billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, founder of a Japanese fashion website, and a new force in contemporary art.