Johnny Depp has added $11.5 million to his bank balance after selling two paintings at an auction on Wednesday
The 53-year-old actor is unloading eight paintings by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat at Christie’s auction house in London, England, during auctions on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday’s auction saw Depp enjoy a hugely profitable return on two of the Basquiat works. While one of the pieces, Pork, was expected to reach upwards of $3.35 million, it eventually sold for $6.8 million after receiving a phone bid from Elaine Kwok, Christie’s director of education Asia, and resulted in being the top sale of the night. Depp had purchased the acrylic, oil and oilstick painting from Los Angeles gallery Blum & Poe in 1998.
Meanwhile, another piece, entitled Self-Portrait, was estimated to reach between $1.5-2.2 million, but sold for $4,745,258 to a different buyer.
Depp has long been a fan of Basquiat’s paintings, and told author Enrico Navarra for his book on the artist in 2000: “Nothing can replace the warmth and immediacy of Basquiat’s poetry, or the absolute questions and truths that he delivered.
“The beautiful and disturbing music of his paintings, the cacophony of his silence that attacks our senses, will live far beyond our breath.”
According to auction house bosses at Christie’s, Johnny has been in talks about selling off his collection to them since the start of 2016. However, the bank balance boost comes at a convenient time as Depp gears up for a costly legal battle with actress Amber Heard, who filed for divorce to end their 15 month marriage on 23 May, citing irreconcilable differences.
Their split took a messy turn when Heard, 30, was granted a restraining order after claiming Depp was abusive during their relationship.
Several more of Depp’s Basquiat collection will go up for sale at Christie’s on Thursday