HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Island police authorities are investigating the theft of a valuable piece of art by one of the most well-known Black artists in modern American history.
An oil slick painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat was taken from a residence on 40th Avenue in Kurtistown, according to police. Jewelry was also stolen during the burglary, which occurred on October 14.
Basquiat, born in 1960, was an influential African-American painter who grew up in New York City and became well known for his street art. He is credited as one America’s most prominent neo-expressionist artists.
He died of a heroin overdose in 1988.
In 2017, the Basquiat painting Untitled became the first piece of art created after the year 1980 to be sold for more than $100 million. At the time, it was the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction that had been created by an American artist.
Police ask anyone with information about the theft to contact Detective Jeremy Kubojiri of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2378, or via email at Jeremy.Kubojiri@hawaiicounty.gov.
You can also contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.