man stands next to the artwork 'Untitled' made by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
Getty Images / KENA BETANCUR

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 artwork Untitled has sold for $10.8 million via the Fair Warning app. This sets an all-time record for an in-app purchase.

Yesterday, Fair Warning announced that it had sold Basquiat’s piece for the world record price. The oil stick on paper was initially estimated to sell for between $8 million to $12 million.

Former Christie’s co-chairman Loïc Gouzer debuted Fair Warning last week. The artwork auction app sees a single piece of art auctioned off each week. Started during lockdown, Gouzer wanted to see whether the art world could pivot to online sales in a meaningful way.

“It’s really an experiment,” said Gouzer. “The idea was to create a guerrilla type of auction system where you could start moving paintings by using the cloud rather than physical locations.”

For now, only a limited number of buyers have been invited to participate. Unlike auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s that consider themselves democratic outlets, Fair Warning has limited spots.

Words by Sarah Osei
Staff Writer