Michael Stipe Selling Manhattan Loft, Seeks New Art Studio

Former R.E.M. singer plans to focus on sculpture

Michael Stipe
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for HBO
Michael Stipe at the HBO Documentary screening of "Me @ The Zoo" at MoMA PS.1 in New York City
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Michael Stipe has put his penthouse loft in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood on the market, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move is part of the singer's plans for the post-R.E.M. phase of his life, as he moves away from music to fully embrace his career as a sculptor. "I wake up in the morning thinking of sculpture, not lyrics," Stipe told the Wall Street Journal. "Lyrics are too hard."

Stipe and his partner, photographer Thomas Dozol, are asking $10.95 million for their Canal Street space, which has two levels, a central atrium, a 2,500 square foot terrace overlooking the Hudson River and an open kitchen designed by Stipe's friend, celebrity chef Mario Batali.

Stipe and Dozol are currently seeking out a new space in downtown Manhattan large enough to accommodate a full sculpture studio. Stipe has been working in sculpture for years now, but he has been able to focus on that work full-time since R.E.M. completed their final album, Collapse Into Now. "About six years ago, seven years ago, I woke up and thought, 'I want to make sculpture,'" Stipe recently told Tumblr's Storyboard site. "I don't sit at a potter's wheel and make vases," he noted. "I don't really know what to call it, so I call it sculpture."