Jean-Michel Basquiat Painting Sells For Record $110.5 Million

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: A painting of a skull by Jean-Michel Basquiat broke records at Sotheby's last night. The work sold for more than $110 million. As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, that is the most ever for an American artist's work at auction. ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: With thick black lines, an open mouth, an explosion of blue, red and yellow, the skull seems to be shouting. Jean-Michel Basquiat was just 21 years old when he painted it. It wowed art lovers when Sotheby's first unveiled it two weeks ago. The auction house's pre-sale estimate was $60 million. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED AUCTIONEER: Seventy-nine million dollars. BLAIR: It was shattered within minutes. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED...

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