On May 12th, 2017, a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Untitled,” sold for a record-breaking $110.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. The painting, created in 1982, depicts a skull-like face and is considered one of Basquiat’s most iconic works. Additionally, on May 12, 1971, the American sculptor and minimalist artist Donald Judd opened his first solo exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. The show featured Judd’s signature sculptures made of industrial materials like steel and aluminum and marked the beginning of his rise to prominence in the art world.
In underground music, May 12th, 1979, marked the release of the debut album “Unknown Pleasures” by the British post-punk band Joy Division. The album’s iconic cover art, featuring a series of white lines on a black background, has become one of the most recognizable images in music history. Moreover, on May 12, 2005, the American indie rock band, The National, released their third album, “Alligator,” which received critical acclaim and helped to establish the bar as one of the most essential indie acts of the 2000s.
Hip-hop culture has also had significant events occur on May 12th. In 2006, the rapper T.I. released his fourth studio album, “King,” which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and solidified his position as one of the leading figures in hip-hop at the time. Furthermore, on May 12, 1990, the rapper Ice Cube released his debut solo album, “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted,” which featured production from Dr. Dre and marked a departure from his previous work with the group N.W.A.
In the world of avant-garde fashion, May 12th, 1983, marked the debut collection of the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto in Paris. His collection featured avant-garde designs, which helped establish him as one of the most influential designers of the 1980s. Additionally, on May 12, 2014, American fashion designer Rick Owens presented his Spring/Summer 2015 collection in Paris. The show featured models wearing his signature futuristic designs and was widely praised for its innovative approach to fashion.
Lastly, in obscure movie cinema, on May 12th, 1971, the French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville released his crime drama film “Le Cercle Rouge,” which starred Alain Delon and is considered one of the greatest French films of all time. Additionally, in 1999, the American filmmaker David Lynch released his surrealist drama film “The Straight Story,” which was a departure from his previous work and was praised for its emotional depth and understated style.