When he bought another Basquiat previous year for $57 million, he said, "When I encountered the work at the Christie's NY preview, I had an immediate visceral connection it. Generationally, I relate to Basquiat's culture and the essence of his life story".
"Untitled" had been in the same private collection since it was bought at auction in 1984 for $19,000, and so was virtually unknown before its unveiling at Sotheby's weeks ago.
"I've never seen so much emotions in such a painting", he said.
Maezawa, 41, intends to make it a centerpiece of a museum in his hometown, Chiba, Japan, but until then he intends to loan it to institutions and exhibitions worldwide, he told Sotheby's.
Basquiat was 21 years old and still a relative unknown when he painted "Untitled", which sold at Sotheby's in NY.
This particular painting was completed in 1982, just six years before the talented young artist died of a heroin overdose at age 27. One of them was another untitled Basquiat painting, which the entrepreneur purchased from Christie's in May 2016 for more than $57 million.
This story was first published on CNNMoney.com, "Basquiat tops Warhol after painting sells for $111 million".
"It's a great masterpiece at $98 million", he said to laughter in the room. It was valued before the sale at more than US$60 million.
Sotheby's also sold Roy Lichtenstein's "Nude Sunbathing" for $24 million Thursday and broke records for Keith Haring, Blinky Palermo, Mira Schendel, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jonas Wood and Takeo Yamaguchi.
"Breaking $100m for a work which is that recent is definitely extraordinary", said Gregoire Billault, head of contemporary art at Sotheby's. Maezawa began collecting art, he said, as a way "to help young artists to promote their work as well as to increase awareness of contemporary art among the younger generation". Maclean, who founded the Eykyn Maclean gallery with fellow Christie's alum Christopher Eykyn in 2010, eventually caught the eye of a few in the salesroom, and everyone darted their gaze between him, Terase and Barker, the scene as sizzling as any bidding war I've seen, with everyone present on edge.
$179.4m. Pablo Picasso "Les Femmes d'Alger (Version 0)".