THE GUARDIAN: The collection will be seen by the public for the first time when it is exhibited for 10 days by Sotheby’s, after highlights are sent on tour to Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong, before the three-day sale in November. Bowie’s interest in art went well beyond collecting the fashionable artists of his day. He painted and was fascinated by art and design throughout his career, taking a close interest in the visual presentation of his work, from his stage costumes and album covers to videos, including those made for his last singles and album months before his death.
He was invited to join the editorial board of the journal Modern Painters in 1998, and turned interviewer for them, recording meetings with artists including Jeff Koons, Hirst and Tracey Emin. He met Andy Warhol many times and played the artist in Julian Schnabel’s 1996 biopic of Basquiat. Bowie was also part of a famous art-world hoax, the celebration of the fabulous talent and tragic fate of the artist Nat Tate. He hosted a spectacular party at Koons’s Manhattan studio for the launch of a book on Tate – where many of the guests were too embarrassed to admit they had never heard of the artist, which was not surprising since he was a wholly fictional character, invented by Bowie’s friend the novelist William Boyd.
The three-day sale will feature paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculpture, including contemporary African pieces and Outsider art – works by those from outside the conventional arts world such as the “Gugging Group”, patients at the Gugging psychiatric clinic in Vienna which became renowned for the creativity of many treated there, and its therapeutic work with art. It will also include Air Power [pictured], a major graffiti painting by the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, which alone is estimated by Sotheby’s to be worth up to £3.5m. MORE