U2 could get $12 million for Basquiat painting

U2 could own this...for $12 mil
U2 could own this...for $12 mil

What's that line about the rich getting richer? Well, check this out: U2 could nab as much as $12 million from selling a painting. Nice, huh?

The piece in question is by Jean-Michel Basquiat, and it's been hanging at U2's studio in Dublin for the past 20 years. The band purchased the painting in 1989 after if was spotted at a New York gallery by bassist Adam Clayton in 1989. U2 will auction the artwork off at Sotheby's Contemporary Art auction in London on July 1. It is expected to sell for as much as $11.7 million.

The 6-foot-square acrylic, oil stick and collage canvas, was created in 1982 when the artist was 22 years old. Basquiat had an intense interest in music that he manifested through his art. He died in 1988 of a drug overdose.

Known as Untitled (Pecho/Oreja), and featuring Basquiat's trademark primitive mask motif, Clayton found the piece at the Robert Miller Gallery and convinced his bandmates to collectively buy the painting.

"It seems especially appropriate that a work by Basquiat should end up in a music studio, since so much has been said about the relationship between his art and music," said Oliver Barker, of Sotheby's Contemporary Art department.

No word yet on what U2 plan to do with the money. A nice vacation, perhaps?

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.