David Bowie’s private art collection will go on show for the first time in an exhibition next week, before being auctioned off in a sale expected to reach in excess of £10 million.
The musician was famously elusive, keeping even his battle with cancer a secret until his death in January, days after he had released his final album, Blackstar, on his 69th birthday. But when he did give interviews, he spoke about his passion for art, saying it was the “only thing [he] bought addictively”.
“Art was, seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own,” Bowie told The New York Times in 1998. “It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it.”
Sotheby’s auction house is hosting a three-part sale of 400 pieces of art, sculpture and design owned by Bowie in November. However, first the work will be exhibited around the world, giving Bowie fans and art collectors a chance to explore the musician’s inspirations”.
The most lucrative sale is set to be Bowie’s collection of more than 250 lots of paintings and sculpture by some of the most valuable artists in modern and contemporary British art. The Ziggy Stardust star owned pieces by Henry Moore, Frank Auerbach and Damien Hirst, which could command prices in their millions.
However, it is work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the controversial New York graffiti artist-turned painter who died of a heroin overdose aged 27, that is perhaps the jewel of Bowie’s collection, worth an estimated £3.5 million.
A further £100,000 is expected to be raised by a 120-piece lot of Bowie’s design collection, which includes a number of pieces by the eccentric Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, including the musician’s favourite record player.
A spokesperson for the Estate of David Bowie said that his family were “keeping certain pieces of particular personal significance,” but that it was “now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate – and acquire – the art and objects he so admired.”
Even those without deep pockets will have an opportunity to admire the collection when Sotheby’s display it in the auction house’s New Bond Street galleries between 20 July and 9 August. The work will then travel to Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong.
At a glance | David Bowie’s art collection
Preview World Tour
- London: 20 July–9 August
- Los Angeles: 20–21 September
- New York: 26–29 September
- Hong Kong: 12–15 October
The Exhibition: Bowie/Collector
Sotheby’s London 1–10 November
- Part I: Modern and Contemporary Art, Evening Auction, 10 November
- Part II: Modern and Contemporary Art, Day Auction, 11 November
- Part III: Post-Modernist Design: Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis Group, 11 November
Via the Telegraph
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