David Bowie was not only a rock star and international celebrity, he was also something of a Renaissance man. Bowie was deeply involved in the art world as an artist, critic and eclectic collector of works from Damien Hirst and Jean-Michel Basquiat to "Outsider" and contemporary African art. Four hundred items from Bowie's private collection will be offered for auction in London in November - a small sample of the work has been on display in London and Los Angeles, prior to previews in New York and Hong Kong.
The preview work, which focuses largely on British artists (the heart and soul of Bowie's collection) includes paintings by Frank Auerbach, Harold Gilman, Peter Lanyon, Basquiat and Hirst. The previews also included sculptural assemblages by Beninese artist Romuald Hazoume and furniture from Ettore Sottsass and the Milan-based Memphis group.
Simon Hucker, Senior Specialist in Sotheby's Modern and Post-War British Art Department emphasized the central role that art played in Bowie's creative and personal life, as evidenced by the diverse nature of the collection. Bowie himself, in an interview with the New York Times, said that art "has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way I feel in the mornings. The same work can change me in different ways, depending on what I'm going through."
The collection not only reflects Bowie's keen eye for the visual, but it also offers a glimpse into his own creative process. Bowie's work in the music world always transcended genre and form, often flowing into performance art. This very personal collection offers real insight into an active, restless and creative spirit.