A woman looks at Jean-Michel Basquiat's "In This Case" during a press preview.
Black artists are represented like never before at New York's spring sales next week after years of being overlooked and underappreciated, with several expected to set new records for their works.
American-born Jean-Michel Basquiat, of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, becomes the first Black painter to headline both Christie's and Sotheby's main auctions, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
The 1983 "In This Case," part of his trilogy of "skull" paintings, and his 1982 work "Versus Medici" are expected to fetch around $50 million each during the virtual auctions.
The late Robert Colescott, renowned for expressionist paintings that dealt with Black identity and history, is expected to increase his record tenfold, with his 1975 "George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook" estimated at up to $12 million.
Works by Norman Lewis, Mark Bradford and Kerry James Marshall are all expected to top $1 million.
David Galperin, head of evening sales for contemporary art at Sotheby's in New York, said a "historical reevaluation" and growing visibility in galleries and museums is boosting the popularity of marginalized artists.
For Sanford Biggers, a Black sculptor whose 25-foot-tall bronze "Oracle" statue has just been installed at the Rockefeller Center, the development is a long overdue "correction."
The massive Black Lives Matter protests that swept the United States and the world last year following the police murder of George Floyd have contributed to a reassessment that was already underway, experts and artists say.
Sherman Edmiston, president of New York's Essie Green Gallery, which has been promoting Black artists since 1979, says the breakthrough has happened in recent years, in part thanks to the emergence of prominent Black collectors.
Rapper and producer Swizz Beatz is considered a pioneer, while Sean Combs, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West are also recognized as major collectors.
Another contributing factor was the shift in the 1990s from art being a collectors' market to an investors' market.
As the supply of works by traditional artists, almost all white, dried up, investors turned to minority artists at attractive prices to boost their portfolios.
Artists such as Basquiat, Marshall and Jacob Lawrence have, in their own way, opened a window into an element of American life that was missing from mainstream art -- the experience of being Black in the United States.
The push to buy works by Black artists, resulting in a steady stream of records over the past three years, has seen prices go way above their initial estimates, a rare phenomenon at top auctions.
He even thinks the market might be overheating. "At the same time I realize I
could be way off, and most likely, I am," he said, smiling.
A tear slipped down the cheek of Ghanaian-German artist Zohra Opoku as she recalled how the global Black Lives Matter had kindled her pain and anger while she was stranded away from home due to coronavirus lockdowns.
A Vermont tattoo artist who has long offered free removal or covering of hateful skin art like swastikas, SS lightning bolts or the words "white power” says he’s seen an uptick in business recently following George Floyd's death.
Belgian-Congolese street artist NovaDead, whose real name is Julien Crevaels, completed the work in just over a week in a suburb near the canal that crosses the Belgian capital.
The toppling of a statue of a 17th-century slave trader in the English port city of Bristol was hailed by some as a long-overdue reckoning with Britain's imperialist past and denounced by others as a criminal act.
Under a controversial legal guardianship since 2008, US pop singer Britney Spears is scheduled to address a Los Angeles court on Wednesday in the battle over her father's control of her affairs.
Bechara is the first female artist from the UAE and Middle East to launch a painting, which will only be available as an NFT.
Allu Arjun shared a birthday note for his mother Nirmala on Monday, along with a picture that shows her cutting a cake.
Actor Kartik Aaryan took the Covid vaccine on Tuesday at Hinduja Hospital, Khar, and shared the health update on Tuesday evening with fans. The actor posted a photo of himself with a frame that says: "#gotvaccinated. Join the fight back."