A painting by the late American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat has sold for US$41.8 million in a live-streamed Christie’s auction in Hong Kong. The piece, titled Warrior , was sold in a single-lot event and is the most expensive Western work of art ever sold in Asia. Previously the highest price fetched by a Western artwork in Asia was the HK$214.6 million (US$27.7 million) paid for Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (649-2) in a Sotheby’s contemporary art sale broadcast live from Hong Kong in October 2020. The Basquiat work was sold to an Asian collector over the phone in Christie’s Hong Kong sale room after an intense 10-minute bidding battle between Hong Kong and New York, the auction house said. The sale exceeded pre-bidding estimates of between US$31 million to US$41 million. The auction was followed by back-to-back auctions in London of 20th- and 21st-century art as well as Surrealist art. Christie’s said more than 400,000 viewers tuned in to watch and participate in its global spring sales through Facebook, YouTube, Chinese online platforms WeChat, Weibo and Artron, online art consultancy ArtPro’s app, Christies.com and Christie’s Live, “highlighting the inclusive international nature of the interactive live stream”. Painted in 1982 at the height of Basquiat’s artistic power, Warrior – made with acrylic and spray paint on a wood panel – depicts a powerful warrior wielding a silver sword. Its Christ-like, gladiatorial figure is a crucial subject extensively explored by the artist in numerous sketches prior to this work, Christies said, and Warrior can be interpreted as a semi-autobiographical work championing his creative vision as a black artist. The painting was previously sold to an American collector at Sotheby’s London in 2012 for US$8.7 million. Christie’s says this week’s sale reflects growing demand for Western artworks and the phenomenal prices some can reach, fuelled by interest from Asian collectors. The auction house said Warrior was first exhibited at the Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo, in 1983, and has featured in numerous important Basquiat publications and exhibitions around the globe. In particular, it was one of the centrepieces of the 2019 blockbuster exhibition Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Brant Foundation Art Study Centre in New York. It is not the highest price paid for a Basquiat painting. In 2017, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa paid US$110.5 million in a Sotheby’s online auction for an untitled 1982 work by the artist .