David Bowie Art Auction Fetches $30 Million on First Day - Rolling Stone
×
Home Music Music News

David Bowie Art Auction Fetches $30 Million on First Day

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Air Power,” which singer bought in 1995 for $120,000, sells for $8.8 million at London auction

David Bowie, Art Auction, $30 Million, First Day

The first day of an auction of David Bowie's massive art collection fetched a total of $30.3 million, nearly tripling pre-auction estimates.

Terry O'Neill/Getty

The first day David Bowie‘s massive art collection went to auction, it fetched a total of $30.3 million, nearly tripling pre-auction estimates. The auction featured 47 of the more in-demand pieces of art hitting the block, including paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frank Auerbach and Damien Hirst.

Sotheby’s is hosting the two-day Bowie/Collector auction featuring 350 works, which was 65 percent of Bowie’s entire art collection, the New York Times reports

“[David Bowie] used his art to understand his place in the world,” curator Beth Greenacre told Rolling Stone. “He was an amazing historian. He was always looking backward to understand the present – and even propheised about the future, I think.”

Basquiat’s “Air Power” sold for approximately $8.8 million; its pre-auction estimate was $3.3 million; the singer initially purchased the 1984 painting in 1995 for $120,000. Bowie previously appeared in the 1996 film Basquiat in the role of Andy Warhol.

In all, 12 artists’ works established new auction-high for their respective artists thanks to Bowie’s collection, including Auerbach, whose 1965 canvas “Head of Gerda Boehm” sold for $4.7 million, a record for the German-born British painter. Bowie first purchased the painting at auction in 1995 for $87,000. Another piece that tripled pre-auction estimates was “Beautiful, hallo, space boy painting,” a collaboration between Hirst and Bowie. The circle canvas with a seven-foot diameter sold for $975,000.

“Bowie was a true collector,” art advisor Christina Shearman told the New York Times. “His acquisitions were not commercially motivated; he cared about the art, not the market. His was a deeply personal, eclectic collection, reflecting his British roots and his real passion for art.”

Popular on Rolling Stone

Sotheby’s of London’s auction continues Friday with a focus on over 100 Memphis Group furniture and design objects from Bowie’s collection.

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.