It makes sense that Yusaku Maezawa would be a big fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat. They’re both former rockers: Maezawa played in a punk band in Japan before moving to California to be close to his heroes in the Dead Kennedys and the Melvins, while Basquiat was in the band Gray, gigging regularly at the Mudd Club and other spots in downtown Manhattan. They’re both into high and low fashion: Maezawa is partly responsible for bringing the street style of Harajuku to high-end Japanese retailers, and Basquiat went from dressing like a workaday artist to splattering paint on his five-figure Armani and Comme des Garçons suits. They’re also both fans of dating famous women: Maezawa was for a period attached to the actress Saeko, and Basquiat shacked up with Madonna for a time at Larry Gagosian’s house in L.A. And there is this: Maezawa, who is now worth billions thanks to his online retail site Zozotown, dropped $110 million on a gigantic Basquiat at Sotheby’s in May of 2017.
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