David Bowie’s private art collection is set to be revealed to the public for the first time.
The Starman, who in 1998 told a New York Times journalist art was ‘the only thing I’d ever wanted to own’ kept his life an avid collector mostly private.
But six months after his death, Sotheby’s have announced they will stage a three-part sale, titled Bowie/Collector, of 400 items from the legendary musician’s private collection.
The auction stock includes work from some of the 20th century’s most important artists, including Frank Auerbach, Peter Lanyon and Damien Hirst, as well as pieces by Ettore Sottsass’ avant-garde design collaborative Memphis Milano.
Bowie also collected Outsider Art, Surrealism and Contemporary African Art; his eclectic and extensive collection also contains important pieces from celebrated artists.
‘As a collector, Bowie looked for artists with whom he felt some connection, and for works that had the power to move or inspire him’ said Simon Hucker, Senior Specialist in Modern & Post-War British Art at Sotheby’s.
‘This is what led him to British art of the early and mid-20th century in particular which, of course, also led him home.’
Prior to the auction, Sotheby’s will exhibit the pieces from 1-10 November, at their New Bond Street galleries in London.
Highlights from the lot will also go on tour.
Kicking off in London, from 20 July to 9 August, the pieces will then be exhibited in Los Angeles (20 and 21 September), New York (26-29 September) and Hong Kong (12-15 October).
Sotheby’s expect the entire collection to fetch more than £10 million (€, $), although with fans and collectors vying for the pieces, the lot could raise more.
‘David’s art collection was fuelled by personal interest and compiled out of passion,’ a spokesperson for the Estate of David Bowie told Sotheby’s.
‘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 personal significance, it is now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate – and acquire – the art and objects he so admired.’
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