Nearly a year after the death of David Bowie, Sotheby’s London presents an auction and exhibition with the most important pieces from his art collection. It’s a three-part sale event: the evening sale divided into Modern and Contemporary Art and the Post-Modernist Sale during the day.

During this time also, there are posters of Bowie’s musical masterpiece, Lazarus, covering the walls of London as this was his last completed musical before his passing. Bowie was a real genius and his legacy will always echo on. His presence, or should I say, his absence is still vivid and moving. He was a man who produced trends. He was a catalyzer, an influencer and a bright shining star. He was elegant and timeless. He was the artist.

Within the collection, there’s a couple of works worth noting: a Spin Painting made in collaboration with Damien Hirst – which was probably created after a fun night out in London – and the centerpiece of the show by J.M. Basquiat called Air Power. Bowie loved the works of American Graffiti artist, Basquiat. They met during the 1970s in the Factory of downtown NYC. The Starman also played an unforgettable role as Andy Warhol in Schnabel’s movie of Basquiat in the 80’s.

A part of this sale is dedicated to Bowie’s collection of Design masterpieces by the Milanese designer Ettore Sottsass and The Memphis group. There is a comprehensive collection of furniture amongst which features one hundred items from Bowie’s lifetime.

“Bowie was a voracious collector of the works of eccentric Italian designer Ettore Sottsass and the Milan-based Memphis group,” explains Sotheby’s. “The final session of the sale series will comprise pieces such as the iconic Post-Modernist ‘Casablanca’ Sideboard, from the first Memphis collection of 1981, and the unconventional record player, the RR 126 Radiophonograph, designed in 1965 by the brothers Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni for Brionvega, both of which are definitive pieces of cutting edge Italian design fitting for the most innovative and daring musician of his generation.”

This auction is a homage of London to Bowie, a city who loves artists, singers and visionaries. When I notice an art collection being auctioned off, I often think that a foundation would be better in helping to keep the owner’s vision intact. However, it is also nice to think of the artworks he loved and lived with can be split up like stars and spread out as a constellation of various art lovers.

The auction is on view November 10th in London.

by Fiammetta De Michele





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