He famously said that “Art was, seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own” in an interview with the New York Times in 1998 and it seems that the allure of the David Bowie provenance pushed the values of the art he owned to a new level.
The first in a series of 3 auctions selling David Bowie’s art collection has exceeded all expectations with 47 pieces of art fetching a collective £24 million.
Following on from our feature on Bowie’s considerable art collection, yesterday’s Sothebys auction garnered so much attention and interest that it went 3 times above expert’s estimates, with some pieces going for more than 10 times what was expected.
The most expensive piece was a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, Air Power, which was predicted to be the centrepiece of the auction before sale with the highest estimated price of £3.5 million but it went well above that, eventually selling for nearly £7.1 million.
Another work by modernist Basquiat, Untitled, sold for a further £2.4 million, well above the estimate of £500,000 to £700,000. Bowie had played Basquiat’s mentor Andy Warhol in a 1996 film about the artist.
Other notable lots which sold in Thursdays auction include three works by Damien Hirst including a collaborative piece completed with Bowie which went for £785,000 and Frank Auerbach’s Head of Gerda Boehm which was bought for £3.8 million, far exceeding its £500k estimate with the second highest price of the auction and a new auction high for the artist.
A further 300 works are set to go under the hammer with the proceeds from all lots going to Bowie’s estate.