For the first time since his death in February this year, David Bowie’s personal art collection will be unveiled to the public in November before going to auction at Sotheby’s New Bond Street Galleries, London.
Bowie said to The New York Times in 1998, “Art was, seriously, the only thing I’d 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.”
Bowie/Collector will be a three-part sale of approximately 400 items from Bowie’s private collection – which includes 200 works of some of the finest Modern and Contemporary British Art by the likes of Henry Moore, Frank Auerbach (of whose works he said “My God, yeah! I want to sound like that looks…”), Damien Hirst (who Bowie told the New York Times was “different…I think his work is extremely emotional, subjective, very tied up with his own personal fears – his fear of death is very strong – and I find his pieces moving and not at all flippant…”), and Graham Sutherland. It is widely believed the collection may raise more than £10m.
His remarkable and eclectic taste also includes Outsider Art, Surrealism, Contemporary African art, the playful Italian architect and designer, Ettore Sostass (of the Memphis Group) and ground-breakers such as Jean-Michel Basquiat (“It comes as no surprise to learn that he [Basquiat] had a not-so-hidden ambition to be a rock musician, as his work relates to rock in ways that very few other visual artists get near.”) and Marcel Duchamp.
Simon Hucker, Senior Specialist in Modern & Post-War British Art at Sotheby’s, said: “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. This is what led him to British art of the early and mid-20th century in particular, which, of course, also led him home.”
From 1–10 November, Bowie’s private collection will be exhibited at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries in London, giving fans, art historians and collectors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse themselves in in a world of art and influences unseen for many years.
“Eclectic, unscripted, understated: David Bowie’s collection offers a unique insight into the personal world of one of the 20th century’s greatest creative spirits.” Oliver Barker, Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe