The iconic Earnie Barnes painting The ‘Sugar Shack’ familiar to millions as it was featured in the TV sitcom ‘Good Times’ and on Marvin Gaye’s Album cover of his 1976 release ‘I Want You’, sold to auction at Christie’s in New York City for $15.3 million to Bill Perkins last Thursday, May, 12th, to an energy trader, who says he’s been waiting his whole life to buy that work of art. The sale, set an auction record for Barnes’s body of work by more than 27 times the artist’s previous record. The 10-minute action brought in 22 bidders before the Houston-based energy trader Bill Perkins made the final offer and beat out the others. “I would have paid a lot more,” Perkins told The New York Times following the auction. “For certain segments of America, it’s more famous than the Mona Lisa.”
“The Sugar Shack, which depicts a dance hall filled with elongated Black dancers was inspired by Barnes’ memories of his childhood in his hometown of North Carolina. The iconic painting was featured in season 4 of ‘Good Times’opening and closing credits and in subsequent seasons including paintings appearing in the family apartment of the Evans family. Suggesting it was the work of eldest son and aspiring painter “JJ Evans.” Barnes, a professional football player in the 60’s turned renowned artist died in 2009 at the age of 70 of leukemia and inspired many.