If you had a pretty much unlimited disposable income, what would you spend it on? Once you’ve worked through the obvious answers — booze, drugs, getting laid as much as possible — then you might come to the conclusion that “art” is as good an answer as any. So it went, apparently, with David Bowie — the great man’s interest in visual art was well-documented, and it was always assumed that he’d have a bumper art collection, but the scale of it has become this week, mainly because it’s up for sale.
As per The Guardian, Bowie’s private collection is to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in November. (According to the report, Bowie’s family are selling because they don’t have the space to keep all the work.) More notably for those of us who don’t have a casual seven figures to drop on one of the pieces that’s going under the hammer, the collection is going on public display prior to the auction: “The collection will be seen by the public for the first time when it is exhibited for 10 days by Sotheby’s, after highlights are sent on tour to Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong, before the three-day sale in November.”
The nature of the works that Bowie purchased make for a fascinating insight into his aesthetic inspirations — his collection is heavy on 20th century British art, including works by Damien Hirst, Frank Auerbach, Harold Gilman, Sir Stanley Spencer, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Caulfield, Henry Moore, and Graham Sutherland. There’s also an eclectic variety of other work, from a piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat through designer furniture to the very fancy 1950s record player pictured above, which was created by Italian designers Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni.