A collection of artworks owned by the Starman himself went for an unsurprisingly stratospheric sum at auction recently. David Bowie – the late and extremely lamented songwriter, performer, producer and style icon – also, it seems, had a penchant for purchasing outstanding works of art. No doubt boosted by his untimely death early last year, these prime examples of his collection went for a massive US$41.5 million (HK$322 million).
The auction, which saw 130 works once owned by the legendary British recording star go under the hammer, drew a huge number of interested collectors, with 1,750 bids made on the day. One particular highlight of the collection was Air Power, a work by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. This colour-splattered, graffiti-inspired piece went for $8.8 million, double its expected price. The singer bought the work for just $120,000 back in 1995. Interestingly, Bowie also appeared in Basquiat, a 1996 movie about the artist, which saw him take on the role of another legendary artist – Andy Warhol.
Another big ticket sale was Head of Gerda Boehm by German artist Frank Auerbach, which sold for $4.8 million. It was this warped painting that once inspired Bowie to say: “My God, I want to sound like that looks.”