David Bowie Art Collection Auction Doubles Estimates

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A painting by artist Damien Hirst, part of Bowie's private collection to be auctioned by Sotheby's

A painting by artist Damien Hirst, part of Bowie’s private collection to be auctioned by Sotheby’s

The first day of  Bowie/Collector – Part I: Modern and Contemporary Art, Evening Auction on November 10 drew bidders to a packed salesroom for the first of three highly anticipated auctions. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s imposing Air Power (see below) sold for £7.1 million (equal to $8.8 million). Items on Thursday’s Day One sold for £24.3 million (equal to just over $30 million), well over double the pre-sale estimate.

Our original story from July…

“All art is unstable. It’s meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author. There is no authoritative active voice. There are only multiple readings.” – David Bowie

Hailed as one of the most creative minds of our time, it is safe to assume that David Bowie possessed a well-rounded, eclectic taste in various artistic disciplines. Now Bowie fans and art enthusiasts will have the chance to see – and perhaps own – the art that has inspired the legendary musician over the years.

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Air Power

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Air Power

On July 20, more than 20 pieces of work from the Thin White Duke’s private art collection went on preview at Sotheby’s in London. The auction/preview, entitled “Bowie/Collector,” invites the public to peek inside (and ultimately bid on) artistic pieces from his private holdings.

The superstar’s collection features works from contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst, Frank Auerbach and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as various pieces of design furniture and sculptures. An odd Sixties record player designed by Italian brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglion is also featured in the collection.

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Highlights from Bowie’s collection will be exhibited at Sotheby’s in London through August 9, before going on a world tour, as it’s being described, in Los Angeles, September 20-21; New York, September 26-29 and Hong Kong, October 12-15. The previews are open to the public and free of charge.

In November, the collection will head back to the London Sotheby’s to host the actual 400-piece auction.

While art has long been known to weave through parts of Bowie’s personage, even to the extent of him playing And Warhol in the 1996 biographical film, Basquiat, Sotheby’s has said that the famed musician’s art collector side “was something he kept almost entirely hidden from public view.”

Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s Europe chairman, stated that Bowie’s collection was “eclectic, unscripted, understated” and “offers a unique insight into the personal world of one of the 20th century’s greatest creative spirits.”

Related: Bowie’s singles anthology, Legacy, has been released

Best Classic Bands Staff

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