Basquiat’s legacy: how the late artist left his mark on the art world

September 9, 20224 min read
Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin

Three takeaways: 

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork continues to climb in value, with a 15 year CAGR of 21.1%.  
  • Sales of Basquiat’s work at auction accounted for 77% of the $2.2 billion total spend for the Black-American art market, which will likely increase as museums undergo a historical reevaluation of underappreciated Black artists.
  • Yieldstreet is a proud sponsor of Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © , which is on exhibit at the Starrett-Lehigh Building 601 West 26th street in NYC.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork continues to climb in value, with a 15 year CAGR of 21.1%. The late artist completed 1,500 works over the course of his eight-year career, which sold to collectors in the 1980s for less than $20,000. The demand for his work increased over the years as the themes expressed in his paintings, such as race, class, oppression, colonialism, self-identity, rose in cultural relevance – today, Basquat’s artworks are breaking auction records, fetching close to eight figure sums. At Phillips on May 18, 2022 for example, the marquee lot of the night was an untitled 1982 piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat, which was sold by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa for a staggering $85 million. This was only the third-highest price for a Basquiat, sold at a 50% increase from the painting’s last sale in 2016. His second-most expensive piece titled In This Case from 1983 fetched  $93.1 million at Christie’s in 2021, at nearly double its presale estimate, while his most expensive painting, untitled, sold in 2017 to Maezawa for  $110.5 million. At the time it set the record for the most expensive American work sold at an auction, which was broken by Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn in May 2022, when the piece sold for $195 million.

The overall combined value of Basquiat’s works auctioned off since 2006 is a staggering $2.03 billion. Last year alone, sales of Basquiat’s artwork generated $439.6 million, placing him behind only Pablo Picasso as one of the most highly valued artists of all time.

Sales of Basquiat’s work at auction accounted for 77% of the $2.2 billion total spend for the Black-American art market, which is on course to edge up as museums undergo a historical reevaluation of underappreciated Black artists by increasing their visibility. Notably, between the period of 2008 and 2018, only 2.3% of museum acquisitions were of work by black artists when black Americans make up 12% of the US population. 

The massive Black Lives Matter protests that swept through the world in 2020 following the police murder of George Floyd have contributed to a reassessment of Black art, which was already largely underway, experts and artists say. Moreover, the emergence of prominent Black collectors, like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz continues to boost the market for Black contemporary artists, according to Sherman Edmiston, President of New York’s Essie Green Gallery, an institution advocating for Black artists since 1979. 

“It’s all about culture. Hip Hop was a cultural phenomenon and [these musicians] were early adopters and tastemakers,” Edmison told AFP.

In 2021, Basquiat became the first Black painter to headline both Christie’s and Sotheby’s main auctions, cementing his trailblazer status for the Black-American art movement. That same year, six Black contemporary artists set new artist records, including four figurative works by women artists. Raquel Reclining Wearing Purple Jumpsuit (2016) by Mickalene Thomas, whose work is included in Yieldstreet Art Equity Fund III, sold for more than $1.8 million, marking the first time her work sold for more than $1 million at auction.  The Sugar Shack by Eddie Barnes, the dance-hall painting made famous for appearing in the credits of the 1970s sitcom “Good Times,” sold at auction this spring for a record-breaking $15.2 million, which was 76 times its estimate of $150,000 to $200,000, according to Christie’s. The Sugar Shack also marked the first appearance of Barnes’ work in an evening sale.

Artists like Kehinde Wiley – who painted Barack Obama’s portrait –  El Anatsui, Rashid Johnson, and Beauford Delaney continue to shake the art market as well, charging forward on the trail blazed by Basquiat.

Yieldstreet is a proud sponsor of Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure © , on exhibit at the Starrett-Lehigh Building 601 West 26th street in NYC. Moreover, our platform offers a diversified Art Equity Fund, made up of artworks by globally acclaimed contemporary artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, including Damien Hirst, Edward Ruscha, and Lucio Fontana, among others. All the featured artists have historically outperformed their pre-auction valuations and are expected to maintain strong sales performance throughout the duration of the fund.

We believe our 10 alternative asset classes, track record across 470+ investments, third party reviews, and history of innovation makes Yieldstreet “The leading platform for private market investing,” as compared to other private market investment platforms.

1 Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections may not reflect actual future performance. All securities involve risk and may result in significant losses.

3 "Annual interest," "Annualized Return" or "Target Returns" represents a projected annual target rate of interest or annualized target return, and not returns or interest actually obtained by fund investors. “Term" represents the estimated term of the investment; the term of the fund is generally at the discretion of the fund’s manager, and may exceed the estimated term by a significant amount of time. Unless otherwise specified on the fund's offering page, target interest or returns are based on an analysis performed by Yieldstreet of the potential inflows and outflows related to the transactions in which the strategy or fund has engaged and/or is anticipated to engage in over the estimated term of the fund. There is no guarantee that targeted interest or returns will be realized or achieved or that an investment will be successful. Actual performance may deviate from these expectations materially, including due to market or economic factors, portfolio management decisions, modelling error, or other reasons.

4 Reflects the annualized distribution rate that is calculated by taking the most recent quarterly distribution approved by the Fund's Board of Directors and dividing it by prior quarter-end NAV and annualizing it. The Fund’s distribution may exceed its earnings. Therefore, a portion of the Fund’s distribution may be a return of the money you originally invested and represent a return of capital to you for tax purposes.

5 Represents the sum of the interest accrued in the statement period plus the interest paid in the statement period.

6 The internal rate of return ("IRR") represents an average net realized IRR with respect to all matured investments, excluding our Short Term Notes program, weighted by the investment size of each individual investment, made by private investment vehicles managed by YieldStreet Management, LLC from July 1, 2015 through and including July 18th, 2022, after deduction of management fees and all other expenses charged to investments.

7 Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Yieldstreet Alternative Income Fund before investing. The prospectus for the Yieldstreet Alternative Income Fund contains this and other information about the Fund and can be obtained by emailing [email protected] or by referring to www.yieldstreetalternativeincomefund.com. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing in the Fund. Investments in the Fund are not bank deposits (and thus not insured by the FDIC or by any other federal governmental agency) and are not guaranteed by Yieldstreet or any other party.

8 This tool is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any information provided here as investment advice or a recommendation, endorsement or solicitation to buy any securities offered on Yieldstreet. Yieldstreet is not a fiduciary by virtue of any person's use of or access to this tool. The information provided here is of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. You alone assume the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of this information before making any decisions based on such information.

9 Statistics as of the most recent month end.

300 Park Avenue 15th Floor, New York, NY 10022

844-943-5378

No communication by YieldStreet Inc. or any of its affiliates (collectively, “Yieldstreet™”), through this website or any other medium, should be construed or is intended to be a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any security or otherwise to be investment, tax, financial, accounting, legal, regulatory or compliance advice, except for specific investment advice that may be provided by YieldStreet Management, LLC pursuant to a written advisory agreement between such entity and the recipient. Nothing on this website is intended as an offer to extend credit, an offer to purchase or sell securities or a solicitation of any securities transaction.

Any financial projections or returns shown on the website are estimated predictions of performance only, are hypothetical, are not based on actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Estimated projections do not represent or guarantee the actual results of any transaction, and no representation is made that any transaction will, or is likely to, achieve results or profits similar to those shown. In addition, other financial metrics and calculations shown on the website (including amounts of principal and interest repaid) have not been independently verified or audited and may differ from the actual financial metrics and calculations for any investment, which are contained in the investors’ portfolios. Any investment information contained herein has been secured from sources that Yieldstreet believes are reliable, but we make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy of such information and accept no liability therefore.

Private placement investments are NOT bank deposits (and thus NOT insured by the FDIC or by any other federal governmental agency), are NOT guaranteed by Yieldstreet or any other party, and MAY lose value. Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any federal or state securities commission or regulatory authority has recommended or approved any investment or the accuracy or completeness of any of the information or materials provided by or through the website. Investors must be able to afford the loss of their entire investment.

Investments in private placements are speculative and involve a high degree of risk and those investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment should not invest. Additionally, investors may receive illiquid and/or restricted securities that may be subject to holding period requirements and/or liquidity concerns. Investments in private placements are highly illiquid and those investors who cannot hold an investment for the long term (at least 5-7 years) should not invest.

Alternative investments should only be part of your overall investment portfolio. Further, the alternative investment portion of your portfolio should include a balanced portfolio of different alternative investments.

Articles or information from third-party media outside of this domain may discuss Yieldstreet or relate to information contained herein, but Yieldstreet does not approve and is not responsible for such content. Hyperlinks to third-party sites, or reproduction of third-party articles, do not constitute an approval or endorsement by Yieldstreet of the linked or reproduced content.

Investing in securities (the "Securities") listed on Yieldstreet™ pose risks, including but not limited to credit risk, interest rate risk, and the risk of losing some or all of the money you invest. Before investing you should: (1) conduct your own investigation and analysis; (2) carefully consider the investment and all related charges, expenses, uncertainties and risks, including all uncertainties and risks described in offering materials; and (3) consult with your own investment, tax, financial and legal advisors. Such Securities are only suitable for accredited investors who understand and are willing and able to accept the high risks associated with private investments.

Investing in private placements requires long-term commitments, the ability to afford to lose the entire investment, and low liquidity needs. This website provides preliminary and general information about the Securities and is intended for initial reference purposes only. It does not summarize or compile all the applicable information. This website does not constitute an offer to sell or buy any securities. No offer or sale of any Securities will occur without the delivery of confidential offering materials and related documents. This information contained herein is qualified by and subject to more detailed information in the applicable offering materials. Yieldstreet™ is not registered as a broker-dealer. Yieldstreet™ does not make any representation or warranty to any prospective investor regarding the legality of an investment in any Yieldstreet Securities.

YieldStreet Inc. is the direct owner of Yieldstreet Management, LLC, which is an SEC-registered investment adviser that manages the Yieldstreet funds and provides investment advice to the Yieldstreet funds, and in certain cases, to retail investors. RealCadre LLC is also indirectly owned by Yieldstreet Inc. RealCadre LLC is a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Information on all FINRA registered broker-dealers can be found on FINRA’s BrokerCheck. Despite its affiliation with Yieldstreet Management, LLC, RealCadre LLC has no role in the investment advisory services received by YieldStreet clients or the management or distribution of the Yieldstreet funds or other securities offered on our through Yieldstreet and its personnel. RealCadre LLC does not solicit, sell, recommend, or place interests in the Yieldstreet funds.

Yieldstreet is not a bank. Certain services are offered through Plaid, Orum.io and Footprint and none of such entities is affiliated with Yieldstreet. By using the services offered by any of these entities you acknowledge and accept their respective disclosures and agreements, as applicable.

Investment advisory services are only provided to clients of YieldStreet Management, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, pursuant to a written advisory agreement.

Our site uses a third party service to match browser cookies to your mailing address. We then use another company to send special offers through the mail on our behalf. Our company never receives or stores any of this information and our third parties do not provide or sell this information to any other company or service.

Read full disclosure