Niru Ratnam

Do you think this painting is worth $48.4 million?

The market thinks a Basquait is worth that much; art critics disagree. Maybe the market is right

Market dominance: ‘Dustheads’, 1982, by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Credit: © Christie’s Images Limited 2013

Earlier this year a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, depicting two figures stoned on the hallucinogenic drug PCP, was offered for sale at Christie’s in New York. ‘Dustheads’ was given an estimated sales tag of $25–35 million. In the end, the hammer came down at $48.8 million, a sum that easily broke the previous record for the artist, $26.4

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