Diddy Spends $21 Million on Kerry James Marshall Painting

Sean “Diddy” Combs has been revealed as the buyer of Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall’s “Past Times,” the work that sold at auction this week at Sotheby’s for $21 million, reports The New York Times.

“Past Times” After completing the Garden Project series, Marshall painted “Past Times,” which moves into the shared public space of the city. High-rise towers appear in the distance, but the focal point is an urban pastoral scene, filled with green grass and blue water. The African American figures—all dressed in white—are engaged in various forms of recreation. The painting depicts leisurely pastimes, but the title points to the past. In this respect, the perfect scene might suggest a history that hasn’t happened yet or desire come to life. The family in the foreground stares back at the viewer as if just interrupted. The songs on their radios suggest two divergent outlooks: a runaway imagination and a reality check—“got my money on my mind.” Learn more: All images and details: Kerry James Marshall “Past Times,” 1997 Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, McCormick Place Art Collection Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

A post shared by kerry James Marshall (@kerryjamesmarsh) on Aug 20, 2017 at 4:33pm PDT

The thirteen-by-nine-foot canvas, which depicts a black family picnicking in a Chicago park, is noted as the most ever paid for the work of a living African-American artist, and the painting originally debuted at the Whitney Biennial in 1997, and was sold to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in Chicago that same year for $25,000.

Watch the bidding battle for Kerry James Marshall’s masterpiece ‘Past Times’, which quadrupled the artist’s auction record to sell for $21.1 million tonight in our #NYC salesroom. The most significant work by the renowned artist to ever come to auction, the painting is a tour de force that captures Marshall’s extraordinary vision and technical command. This spectacular painting was the centerpiece of the artist’s highly-acclaimed 2016-17 mid-career survey at institutions including @metmuseum. #SothebysContemporary

A post shared by Sotheby's (@sothebys) on May 16, 2018 at 9:09pm PDT

On Thursday, Marshall’s New York dealer, Jack Shainman verified to The New York Times that Diddy was the buyer, saying, “I know that this work has found a home in a collection with purpose and an eye toward preserving legacy—that of Sean Combs, and that means a lot.”

Interestingly, the hip-hop mogul was introduced to Marshall’s work by musician and producer Swiss Beatz, who is also a passionate art collector, and Diddy viewed the painting firsthand at Sotheby’s before the sale.

Additionally, Marshall’s work has received increased recognition lately, which depict events from African-American life, and the subjects they embrace such as portrayals of youths, homes, nudes, and family.

For the full story, head on over to The New York Times.

Also, in related news, Picasso’s ‘Young Girl’ painting sells for an insane $115 million.

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