Japanese artist’s decade-old doodles at Manhattan dive bar could be worth millions after a painting of his sells for a staggering $25million
- Yoshitomo Nara’s painting, Knife Behind Back, sold for $25million on Sunday
- Nara’s painting showing angry girl sold at auction in Sotheby’s in Hong Kong
- Mural he drew in 2009 could now be worth millions of dollars, experts say
- Nara scribbled mural with marker on walls of Niagara bar in New York City
A Japanese artist whose painting sold for $25million at auction on Sunday scribbled doodles on the wall of a Manhattan bar a decade ago – and those drawings are now worth a fortune.
Yoshitomo Nara broke a record last weekend after his painting, Knife Behind Back, sold broke his previous sale record.
The painting, which depicts an angry-looking girl wearing a red dress and has one of her hands behind her back, fetched $25million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.
Since news of the sale, the value of Nara’s scribbled mural on the wall of the East Village bar Niagara, which he sketched after having a few drinks, has skyrocketed, according to ArtNet News.
Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara (seen above in 2015) drew a mural on the walls of a New York City bar that could be worth millions, according to experts
The 3ft high and 8ft long mural includes pictures of irritated boys and girls playing drums and guitars
Nara drew the mural in 2009 after having a few drinks at Niagara, a bar in the Alphabet City section of Manhattan
‘[The mural’s] been just hanging out for 10 years,’ said Tim Blum, who represents the Japanese artist.
‘Nobody paid it too much attention until now.’
Nara drew the mural more than a decade ago – on February 26, 2009 – after he had a gallery show in New York City.
The mural, which measures 3ft high and 8ft long, includes pictures of irritated boys and girls playing drums and guitars.
After he finished, he signed the work and left.
According to ArtNet News, Nara was arrested by police shortly afterward because he drew a smiley face on the wall of an L train subway station on First Avenue.
Nara’s painting, Knife Behind Back (above), sold at auction on Sunday for a record $25million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong
Police booked him into a local jail, where he spent the night. Nara did manage to get out of jail in time for the opening at a local gallery.
‘It’s an incredible story,’ said Blum.
‘Nara’s not normally the guy who’s out getting arrested, so that’s a classic New York story of a certain time.’
Nara was most likely unaware at the time that he left behind drawings that experts say could be worth as much as $5million.
Niagara bar was so enamored with Nara’s work that they placed plastic coverings over the mural.
Blum told the New York Post that Nara had a few drinks and just whipped out a market and started drawing.
‘He felt particularly free that night,’ Blum said.
‘One thing led to another, and it was quite unscripted, nobody got in the way.’
Blum said: ‘The thing we remember most is that he got arrested and had to be bailed out.’