The David Bowie Collection
After the auction house Sotheby’s unveiled Bowie’s art collection to the public the title “art collector” is another one long overdue.
The list of professions and titles associated with David Bowie is long: musician, actor, icon, artist, critic, patron, publisher, curator and magazine editor. After the auction house Sotheby’s recently unveiled Bowie’s art collection to the public the title “art collector” is another one long overdue.
For decades David Bowie had been collecting art “obsessively and addictively”. Over time he has built an impressive collection that is driven by passion and a deep personal interest in the arts, from which he constantly sought inspiration: In a 1998 New York Times Article Bowie commented on Frank Auerbach’s work: “My God, yeah! I want to sound like that looks”.
Born and raised in London, Bowie’s collection naturally features some of the most important British artists of the 20th century, including names like Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Damien Hirst and, of course, Frank Auerbach. However, the art Bowie collected is by no means restricted to British artists but further transcends into other genres such as Contemporary African art or works from early century pioneers like Marcel Duchamp and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Consequently Bowie’s collection spans across all mediums: from paintings on canvas, readymade sculptures to furniture and design that bridges the gap between art and music such as a piece of 1960s Italian design in the form of a playful stereo cabinet.
From 1-10 November 2016 Bowie’s art collection can be visited at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries in London. Shortly after the exhibition ends, Sotheby’s will stage a three part sale, which includes a selection of around 400 items from Bowie’s private collection. In this online exhibition IC shares some of its highlights.
Art was, seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own.