A visitor looks at "The position of father" by Zhang Xiaogang at the Art Basel Hong Kong fair in Hong Kong, May 23, 2013.
AFP / Philippe Lopez
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The contemporary art market is booming with Chinese artists helping to push prices up by nearly a fifth in the past year, the world's biggest art index said this week.The $110.5 million paid for a painting by the black American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in May was no flash in the pan, he told AFP. Basquiat, who began as a graffiti artist and died at 27 from a heroin overdose, is now the sixth most expensive artist ever.The burgeoning contemporary market, however, is dominated by some 500 artists who between them account for 89 percent of global sales, the index revealed in its annual report.Modern art made up for nearly half of auction sales over the last 12 months, Artprice said, followed by postwar art (21 percent), contemporary (12 percent), with Old Masters and 19th-century art accounting for some 10 percent each.
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