By Chika Dunu
- The value of the African American art market is $460M
- Median annual returns for Basquiat’s art is 16.72%, making his paintings the third most valuable
Acquiring art doesn’t only financially benefit the artist but the purchaser as well, and if you are unsure about where to start looking, delve into Black art. The value of the African American art market is $460.8 million, a pale number in comparison to the $45 billion valued global art market. However, the multi-million dollar appraisal definitely shows the industry is taking notice of and valuing Black art, so should you.
Why This Matters: A painting by hip-hop’s favorite artist Jean-Michel Basquiat titled ‘Red Rabbit’ was purchased for a little over $60,000 and sold for $6.6 million, representing a 10,863% profit. The median annual returns for Basquiat’s art is 16.72%, making his paintings the third most valuable to invest in by popular and blue-chip established artists, according to Masterworks. In 2017, a skull painted by Basquiat, which was originally purchased for $19,000 in the 1980s, sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s in New York. The result: a 581,479% profit, again astronomical.
The value of investing in Black artists doesn’t only yield monetary gains but also renders cultural enrichment and preservation of Black history. Even renowned institutions, including MoMa have secured 430 pieces by black artists in recent years, and auctioneers are shelling out big bucks to have a piece of history in their possession.
Music producer and art collector Swizz Beatz, who takes credit for bridging the hip-hop community with the art industry understands the value of black art. “I thought it was important that that particular piece went to an owner of color,” Swizz Beatz told the New York Times of assisting P. Diddy purchase Kerry James Marshall’s 1997 painting “Past Times” for a whopping $21.1 million, the highest sale for an artwork by a living African-American artist ever.
What’s Next: There’s an opportunity to be a part of this movement with the Black Art Experience: Visual Arts Showcase. It’s an event to purchase and revel in Black art, and if all goes well with the Coronavirus pandemic is scheduled to take place in Memphis in October.
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