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Art apart

Late entertainer David Bowie’s art collection, recently auctioned by Sotheby’s, is an eclectic mix of cultures and concepts

Musician, icon, actor, curator, publisher..David Bowie was all this and more. He was known among critics, however, as above all an innovator – a creative mind that enjoyed experimenting with its creations.

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His taste in art, on display at the recent Sotheby’s auction of his entire collection in Dubai, introduced him to his fans the world over as a mind that also appreciated other minds like his own – minds that went beyond the confines of normative aesthetic principles and brought to life works of art that were as much statements of individual identity as they were manifestations of eclectic ideas.

Born in south London, it is perhaps not surprising that he was drawn to chroniclers of the capital’s streets such as Frank Auerbach. Looking beyond England, he also found and collected contemporary African art, works by self-taught artists from Vienna’s Gugging institution, and also designs by Ettore Sottsass and the revolutionary Memphis group besides surrealist and German Expressionist works.

When the collection went under the hammer, it set 59 new auction records and sold for a total of £24.3 million. The highest-selling item was a graffiti-inspired canvas titled Air Power by Basquiat, which sold for £7.09 million.



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