Sean “Diddy” Combs, the rapper, has been identified as the buyer of a painting by Kerry James Marshall that sold at auction for a record-breaking $21.1m (£15.6m).
It was thought to be the most ever paid for a work by a living African-American artist when it went under the hammer on Wednesday night.
The imposing painting, Past Times – which shows black Americans picnicking in a Chicago park and measures four metres wide - had been estimated to fetch about $8m.
Instead a mystery bidder paid more than four times the previous record for a work by Marshall, setting off intense speculation about the buyer's identity.
That was settled on Friday when Jack Shainman, Marshall's gallerist and art dealer, confirmed the owner’s identity.
"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," he told the New York Times.
Marshall is known for his paintings depicting of African-American life. He was born in Alabama, and grew up in south central Los Angeles before moving to Chicago.
Mr Shainman said Combs, who has also been known by his stage names as Puff Daddy and P Diddy, was introduced to the painter’s work by a friend, the hip-hop recording artist and record producer Swizz Beatz
Global buyers have spent almost $3 billion on art in New York in two weeks, a record haul rooted in a billionaire thirst for trophies, Chinese purchasing power and growing diversification.
Christie's chalked up $1.79 billion in sales, including every single item from the iconic collection of the late David and Peggy Rockefeller which, for the first time, spread their flagship May sales across two weeks.