David Bowie’s art and furniture auction has obliterated expectations.
On Thursday, Sotheby’s in London launched the two-day “Bowie/Collector” sale featuring over 350 pieces collected by the late, legendary singer. The most coveted artwork went under the hammer on the first day, and raised $30.3 million—tripling pre-auction estimates, the New York Times reports.
The most expensive lot was Jean-Michel Basquiat's “Air Power,” which went for $8.8 million. Other notable sales included Frank Auerbach’s “Head of Gerda Boehm” ($4.8 million), as well as a collaborative piece by Damien Hirst and Bowie called "Beautiful, hallo, space boy painting” ($975,000).
“Bowie was a true collector,” Christina Shearman, a New York-based art adviser, told the Times. “His acquisitions were not commercially motivated; he cared about the art, not the market. His was a deeply personal, eclectic collection, reflecting his British roots and his real passion for art.”
The Bowie art and furniture sale continued Friday, when the remaining pieces were put up for sale.
Prior to the auction’s kick-off, the Times shared a first-look at the 350-plus offerings (about 60 percent of his collection) with a behind-the-scenes video. The rest of his pieces were considered to be "of particular significance" and were, therefore, kept by his family. The proceeds from the auction will go back to his estate.