Legend David Bowie’s Pricey Artwork Sold at Auction
Expensive and treasured artwork once owned by David Bowie, the late, great English-born singer-songwriter, was unveiled for a public exhibition ahead of an auction. During the first day of the auction, which took place at Sotheby’s in London on Thursday, November 10th, approximately 47 pieces of artwork, each valued between £8.1m ($10.2m) and £11.7m ($14.8m), were auctioned off.
Air Power, created by postmodernist/neo expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, was the most expensive lot, selling for £7.1m ($9m). Also, an untitled Basquiat painting, which was dated 1984, fetched three times the pre-sale estimate, selling for £2.4m. It’s speculated that the Jean-Michel Basquiat piece went for such a pretty penny because Bowie portrayed Andy Warhol in 1997 film of Basquiat’s life, “Basquiat.” Air Power gained an impressive valuation of £3.5m, but it sold for more than double. Frank Auerbach’s Head of Gerda Boehm, a layered 1965 portrait of his cousin Gerda Boehm, fetched £3.8m ($4.8m), beating the previous record for an Auerbach. Of this painting, Bowie once said, “I want to sound like that looks,” according to BBC.
On the evening of Friday, November 11th, 309 other works previously owned by Bowie will be sold, with a majority of the most valuable items already sold on Thursday. The items that were kept away from the auction were those that the Bowie family felt were “of particular significance.” Proceeds after the deduction of taxes and fees are going back to his estate.
Other items sold at auction were: Peter Lanyon’s Witness (£797,000);
Damien Hirst with David Bowie’s Beautiful, hallo, space-boy painting (£785,000); Damien Hirst’s Beautiful, shattering, slashing, violent, pinky, hacking, sphincter painting (£755,000); Patrick Caulfield’s Foyer (£665,000); Henry Moore’s Family group (£581,000); and Marcel Duchamp’s With hidden noise (a bruit secret) (£557,000).
About David Bowie: Bowie, who passed in January of this year performed music for over five decades. A music legend and an innovator to his core, his career was marked by the visual presentation, stagecraft, and reinvention. He sold an estimated 140 million records worldwide, signifying that he was one of the world’s best-selling artists. With eleven number-one albums, he also received five platinum and seven gold certifications worldwide. His legacy and influence is widespread and led many to celebrate his full life, which was filled with music and wonder. Throughout his professional life, he was a collector of beautiful, immaculate art.
Enjoy a scene from “Basquiat!”
Ian Whittock is the Managing Director of Evoque Claims and Appraisals, Evoque Auctions and Identidot Coding Services.