The American sold the painting for $30 million: she expected a larger amount and will sue


35 years ago the canvas of Jean-Michel Basquiat was purchased for only $15,000, and recently sold 2,000 times more expensive. But even with such a good result, not everyone is happy.

American collector Belinda Neumann Donnelly sued her father, accusing him of deliberate actions aimed at reducing the price of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting “Flesh and Spirit.” The canvas belonged to Belinda’s mother since 1983, when she bought it for only $15,000. Since then, the cost of work has grown significantly, and it was decided to sell it: on May 16 the picture went under the hammer for $30.7 million.

Such a result Donnelly remained dissatisfied. She expected to receive at least $100 million for the canvas–she said, this is an amount commensurate with the prices for other works of the artist. For example, a year ago, one of them was paid $110.5 million–Donnelly counted on similar figures.

In a lawsuit, a woman accused her father of having deliberately acted on the eve of bidding so that the price of the painting fell. So, just two weeks before the auction, Hubert Donelly said that he is a co-owner of the canvas, and demanded that the auction house Sotheby’s cancel the auction. There was no reason for this from Belinda Donelly’s father: his wife had long signed an order that deprived him of the right to claim her property.

As a result, the auction still took place, but the scandal arranged by the father, played a role, the collector believes. In her opinion, the dispute over ownership of the canvas scared off many potential buyers who were willing to pay much more money for the picture. Now Belinda Donelly requires her father to compensate her for lost funds: the amount of payment–“not less than $100 million.”

Flesh and Spirit (1983)
Liza Linux

Freelance content creator. Born in Ireland & living in Milan. Love foxes and travel. Available for hire.

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