David Bowie’s Art Curator: He Was ‘Amazing Historian’

'Bowie/Collector' is currently on display in London's Sotheby's

David Bowie‘s personal art collection is currently being exhibited for the first time at London’s Sotheby’s.

Opening today (Nov 1), works by Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Frank Auerbach, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst feature in the collection. It also includes examples of Outsider Art, Surrealism, Contemporary African art and Bowie’s record player, which is described by Sotheby’s as a “wonderfully unconventional piece of 1960s Italian design”.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, curator Beth Greenacre explains that David Bowie “used his art to understand his place in the world.” She continued, “He was an amazing historian. He was always looking backward to understand the present – and even propheised about the future, I think.”


“I’ve never met a mind like David’s,” she added. “I always think about his collecting in a similar way to the way his mind worked. So you could be sitting with David, and you could have a conversation about a painting, and all of the sudden you’d be talking about Nietzsche, which would then lead him to a new film release or a book that I have to read, then back to another artist via Japanese folk art. There were all these beautiful networks between the works within his collection.”

Before the auctions take place on November 10-11, selected works were displayed in London, Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong.

A spokesperson for the Estate of David Bowie said in a statement: “David’s art collection was fuelled by personal interest and compiled out of passion. He always sought and encouraged loans from the collection and enjoyed sharing the works in his custody. Though his family are keeping certain pieces of particular significance, it is now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate – and acquire – the art and objects he so admired.”

The main exhibition will then take place at Sotheby’s in London from November 1-10.




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