Actor Johnny Depp's Basquiat art to go under the hammer

Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Eight works by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat collected by actor Johnny Depp over 25 years go under the hammer this month at auction house Christie's in London.

Almost all the paintings and drawings, which go on sale on June 29 and 30, date from 1981 and illustrate the post-punk New York scene of the time. The auction comes after the sale of the artist's Untitled piece from 1982 that fetched $57.3 million - a Basquiat record - in May.

"The Basquiat market is really high. He just thought it was the right moment to take advantage of the world record we broke ... last month," Edmond Francey, head of Post War and Contemporary Art at Christie's in London, told Reuters.

One of the paintings in Depp's collection – Pork from 1981 – is estimated to sell for between 2.5-3.5 million pounds ($3.35-$4.68 million). The Basquiat works will be offered alongside pieces by Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol and Lucian Freud as part of Christie's 250th anniversary sale.

(Writing by Gayle Issa, editing by Deepa Babington)