Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is the mystery buyer that purchased the much-talked about Kerry James Marshall painting for a whopping $21.1 million, it’s been reported.
The artwork, called “Past Times”, is thought to have earned the most money anyone has ever paid for the work of a living African-American artist.
Marshall’s gallerist and dealer Jack Shainman, who has represented the artist since 1993, told the New York Times: “I know that this work has found a home in a collection with purpose and an eye toward preserving legacy — that of Sean Combs, and that means a lot.”
Mr. Marshall is said to have learned who bought his painting while he was in London to give a talk at the Tate Modern earlier this week.
Diddy, who is thought to have a net worth of $825 million, was reportedly introduced to Marshall’s work by hip-hop recording artist and record producer Swizz Beatz.
The latest Combs news comes after he spoke out about developing an app that will allow users to easily identify the black-owned businesses in their area.
“This is not about taking away from any other community,” he told GQ. “We’ll still go to Chinatown. We’ll still buy Gucci! But the application will make it possible for us to have an economic community. It’s about blacks gaining economic power.
“I don’t believe in passiveness. At some point there has to be some kind of fight. I feel like we’ve done a lot of marching. It’s time to start charging.”