Sotheby’s to Offer Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Cabra from the Collection of Yoko Ono

For the coming Contemporary Art Evening Auctions in New York, Christie’s made a head start with the rediscovery of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, causing a sensation to the art market. In response, Sotheby's presents Cabra by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the highest-grossing American artist. Coming from the collection of Yoko Ono, this painting is estimated at US$9m-12m.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Recent photo of Yoko Ono

A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Spirit Foundations, founded by Ms. Ono and her late husband, John Lennon, in the 1970s. Ms. Ono commented, “I have had the pleasure of owning and living with this masterwork for over two decades. The time has come for it to find a new home, and I am delighted that part of the sale proceeds will benefit the foundation I established years ago with the intention of bringing peace and tolerance to the world.”  

Basquiat’s "Untitled" was acquired by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa

Early in May this year, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)’s ‘Untitled’, was auctioned at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening sale in New York. The painting was sold for US$110m, setting the auction record for the most expensive American painting ever.

At first glance, it is the striking crimson hue of Cabra that sets this painting apart from other works of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Cabra is unique in its articulation of a historic evening in 1970 when Muhammad Ali – the greatest of all time – knocked out revered heavy-weight fighter Oscar Bonavena, also known as 'The Bull'. We are going to talk about the hieroglyphic meaning hidden in this painting in our next article.


Jean-Michel Basquiat. Cabra.

Size: 153 x 153cm
Provenance: Property from the Collection of Yoko Ono
Estimate: US$9,000,000 - 12,000,000

Auction house: Sotheby’s New York
Sale: Contemporary Art Evening Auction
Auction: 2017/11/16