Bowie’s £10m art collection displayed online

13th October 2016

The £10 million private art collection of the late singer, songwriter and actor David Bowie has been displayed for the first time online before being auctioned at Sotheby’s next month. 

Bowie’s selection of masterpieces includes hundreds of works by famous artists including Damien Hirst, Frank Auerbach and Stanley Spencer.

Compiled out of passion and fuelled by the ‘Starman’s’ personal interests, art enthusiasts are describing the collection as diverse and thought-provoking as his music.

With well over 350 artworks from the singer, the pieces range from post-war British avant-garde painting to German Expressionism and surrealist pieces created in the aftermath of the first democratic elections in South Africa, reports the Independent.

Following the musicians shock death in January there was a small selection of Bowie’s work unveiled during the summer. Throughout his life, he was known to lend his works to museum exhibitions however his unveiled extensive collection demonstrates his clear passion for art.

Arguably the most valuable of the art collection is ‘Art Power’ by US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s, which is expected to sell for a price up to £3.5 million. The artwork was bought by the singer after acting as Basquiat’s mentor Andy Warhol in the 1996 Basquiat film. 

Among Bowie’s offering are numerous pieces of 20th century sculpture including those by designers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.

“David's art collection was fuelled by personal interest and compiled out of passion,” said a spokesperson for the Estate of David Bowie.

“He always sought and encouraged loans from the collection and enjoyed sharing the works in his custody. Though his family are keeping certain pieces of particular significance, it is now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate - and acquire - the art and objects he so admired.”

Although the extent of Bowies love for art was not particularly well known while he was alive, he was known to work with the editorial board of the Modern Painters magazine in 1994, interviewing artists such as Jeff Koons and Tracey Emin.

However, his creative side was apparent and Bowie was known to paint and be heavily involved in the artistic communities of London, New York and Berlin.

As reported by the Independent, in a 1998 interview with the New York Times, art was the only thing Bowie had ever wanted to own.

“It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way I feel in the mornings. The same work can change me in different ways, depending on what I’m going through,” he said.

Bowie enthusiasts will be able to admire the art collection at Sotheby’s from November 1st-10th. The selection of works previously owned by Bowie will then be auctioned on November 10th-11th.

Previous to this, there will be three days of talks and events that explore Bowie’s love of collecting art and his influence on fashion, design and art. 

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