Sean Combs is the buyer who paid a record $21.1 million for a 1995 painting by Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall. The winning bid made headlines on Wednesday — even before the buyer was revealed.
Marshall’s painting “Past Times” sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $21.1 million — the highest price ever paid for a living black artist. “Past Times” was expected to fetch between $8 million-$12 million. The final wining bid, including fees, far exceeded expectations.
The painting features well-to-do black figures enjoying a day of leisure on the shores of Lake Michigan. The men, women and children enjoy golf, croquet, waterskiing and boating.
The painting was originally purchased by The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) in Chicago for $25,000 in 1997.
“Past Times” was on display to the public for 19 years until the MPEA consigned it to the MCA Chicago, The Met Breuer, and MOCA Los Angeles from 2016-17.
The most ever paid for a Marshall painting was $5,037,500 for a portrait of Harriet Tubman (including fees) at Christie’s New York.
Marshall, 62, created a mural last year on the west facade of the Chicago Cultural Center, honoring women who shaped arts and culture in Chicago. His fee for the project was $1.
Sean “Diddy” Combs placed the winning $21.1 million bid on a Kerry James Marshall painting at Sotheby’s Wednesday night, Mr. Marshall’s dealer said https://t.co/d6p7I6qz0C
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) May 18, 2018