Tag Archives: Damien Hirst

David Bowie Art Collection Tours US, World

David Bowie Art Collection Tours US, World

David Bowie is many things to many people, perhaps more so in death than in life. He’s certainly a rock star and a legend of popular culture, whatever you think or feel about his music. The beloved icon, who died January aged 69 from cancer, maintains an incredible legacy of transcendent albums and brilliantly reinvented alter egos.

His multi-faceted art collection, set for a keenly anticipated London sale by Sotheby’s, might mark him as an important art collector too. In life, his art collection was a private affair that stirred little interest. In death, well, everyone wants to know what role art (other than his own) played in his life and if his collection is significant. The world gets its answer as the collection travels for display internationally, to be followed by the auction in London later this fall.

Bowie’s amassed paintings, sculptures, and design items from his life-long collection were briefly on view at Sotheby’s Los Angeles hub, located in a tower in Century City (it concluded Wednesday, September 21). In addition to LA, Sotheby’s will display a selection of works at their venues in New York (September 26-29) and Hong Kong (October 12-15), before a 10-day homecoming display (November 1-10) culminating in a penultimate three-day auction in London on November 10 and 11. The collection is estimated at more than £10m ($13m).

David Bowie Art Collection Tours US, World

Jean-Michel Basquiat, ‘Air Power,’ 1984 © Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Simon Hucker, Sotheby’s senior specialist in modern and postwar British art, described Bowie’s collection to The Guardian as “quiet and meditative,” as well as “unusual and unpredictable, as you’d guess with Bowie.”

The array spans Harold Gilman’s “Interior (Mrs Mounter),” a portrait of an English cleaning lady in a Tottenham Court Road room (1917); Ettore Sottsass’s Enorme Telephone (1986); Wyndham Lewis’s “Circus Scene” (1913-14); Patrick Caulfield’s “Foyer,” a 1973 portrait of a cinema entrance, valued up to £600,000; Damien Hirst’s “Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting,” valued up to £350,000; and Frank Auerbach’s “Head of Gerda Boehm,” valued up to £500,000. (Of Auerbach’s work, Bowie notably said: “I want to sound like that looks.”) More affordable works by lesser-known artists balance out the assorted value spectrum.

Bowie often purchased works by directly contacting the artists in question, sometimes visiting their studios to acquaint himself with the makers and the oeuvres both. Bowie himself studied art and design as a young man at a technical college in the suburbs of London.

David Bowie Art Collection Tours US, World

Damien Hirst, ‘Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting,’ 1995 © Courtesy of Sotheby’s

European Art Galleries Open in New York

Having opened multiple London branches and one in Hong Kong, the White Cube gallery of Europe has been looking across the Atlantic to open a new space in New York. While a precise location is currently unknown, it is a monumental occasion, for the White Cube gallery represents quite a number of the Young British Artists, notably Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

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This, however, is not an independent move, and a similar phenomenon of European galleries spreading to and expanding in the US is being observed. German Galerie Buchholz, which represents artists such as Isa Genzken, Wollfgang Tillmans, and Jutta Koether, opened a space in NYC’s Upper East Side, in proximity to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in July 2015. The first Buchholz gallery began in Cologne in the 1980s (there are now three spaces in the city), and a West Berlin branch opened in 2008.

Another case in point: London’s Seventeen Gallery, which represents artists such as Jon Rafman and Uriel Orlow, has also recently announced plans to open a New York space on the Lower East side. In a similar vein, Lisson Gallery has also expanded their reach in the US with a Chelsea location this May following their offices on the Lower East Side. Given that New York has always been an important hub for the arts, this may be unsurprising but perhaps what is notable is that European galleries are coming across the pond. In any event, New Yorkers rejoice, because life is about to become more colorful – literally.

Auction: David Bowie Private Art Collection

Behind the flamboyance and music that was the late David Bowie, was an avid art connoisseur whose private art collection will soon be up for auction. While his life was spent in the public eye for nearly 50 years, his passion for art work was something like a hidden secret — much like his battle with cancer.

Damien Hirst; Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting, 1995 Household gloss on canvas £250,000-350,000

Damien Hirst; Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting, 1995
Household gloss on canvas £250,000-350,000

In November, a three-part auction will see over 400 of his prized pieces go under the hammer. The highlight, happens to be 200 pieces of Modern and Contemporary British Art featuring artists such as Henry Moors, Graham Sutherland, Frank Auerbach and Damien Hirst. “Art was seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own. It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way I feel in the mornings.” said Bowie to The New York Times back in 1998. “The same work can change me in different ways, depending on what I’m going through” he added.

Ettore Sottsass; ‘Casablanca’ Sideboard, 1981; £4,000-6,000

Ettore Sottsass; ‘Casablanca’ Sideboard, 1981; £4,000-6,000

Prior to the auction, selected pieces from the collection will travel on a Preview World Tour through London, Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong from July 20 to October 15. Those in the vicinity of Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries in London, can also get a glimpse of the collection from November 1 to 10. We expect significant interest in this auction, especially the Jean-Michel Basquiat piece “Air Power” (1984). You might recall that Bowie played the role of Andy Warhol in Basquiat, the 1996 Julian Schnabel biopic. Such extraordinary provenance means “Air Power”, acquired by Bowie in 1997, might be hotly contested by collectors. In any case, Basquiat is currently in vogue, as our previous reports attest.

Romuald Hazoumé Alexandra, 1995; Found objects; £5,000-£7,000

Romuald Hazoumé Alexandra, 1995; Found objects; £5,000-£7,000

A spokesperson for the Estate of David Bowie said, “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 personal significance, it is now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate – and acquire – the art and objects he so admired.”

Francois Pinault Houses Collection in New Museum

The billionaire luxury goods tycoon Francois Pinault, who helms luxury group Kering and the auction house Christie’s, has been in the art world for some time now – he boasts one of the biggest private art collections in the world (valued at around $1.4 billion). Now, Pinault has finally found a place to house his collection — which contains the work of artists ranging from Mark Rothko to Damien Hirst — and will open it to the public for viewing. The Bourse de Commerce is a building that’s also at the intersection of Art and Business. The beautiful building’s interior was decorated by a number of painters, and it’s also been the site of a few fashion shows. Pinault – also famous for being the husband of Salma Hayek – has been unable to find a suitable home for the collection in Paris for decades, and, before, only showed them at private museums in Venice.

Francois Pinault

Francois Pinault

The city’s mayor Anne Hidalgo, who negotiated the deal, described the museum as “an immense gift to the heart of Paris”. “I am delighted, it’s a big plus for the city,” Hidalgo told AFP, pointing out that the new museum is also close to the Pompidou Centre, Europe’s biggest contemporary art collection. Another businessman who helped put Paris on the modern art map was France’s richest man, and Pinault’s business rival, Bernard Arnault – who opened his own Frank Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton Foundation for his art collection last year.

The Bourse de Commerce is part of a one-billion-euro urban renewal project to give what Hidalgo calls a “new beating heart” to the city’s Les Halles district. As a part of the deal, Pinault and his family will be given a 50-year lease on the building, which they must also renovate (the cost or rent was not revealed). This must be a boon for Pinault, who tried to build up a museum at the site of an old Renault car factory on the Ile Seguin in the middle of the Seine west of Paris, but gave up in despair in 2005 over planning delays. The gallery will open in 2018, sources close to the collector told AFP.

“It is great to have our captains of industry helping to fly our colors. With this and the FIAC art fair, Paris is regaining its place in contemporary art” Hidalgo noted. The collection will definitely be of great value to the Parisian public, and help foster the cultural consciousness of the city overall.

Report: Damien Hirst Art Leaks Deadly Gas

British artist Damien Hirst is extremely provocative and divisive but apparently some of his work might also be deadly or at least sickening. The notorious works of art (basically dead and variously sliced up animals preserved in giant tanks) in question at London’s Tate Modern gallery have evidently been quietly reeking…literally. Scientists testing a new sensor for the remote detection of formaldehyde gas (a known carcinogen) in the 2012 exhibition found levels well above those legally permitted, it emerged last week.

According to an AFP report, the findings were published in the monthly journal Analytical Methods. The scientists insisted they did not believe their findings showed there was a risk to the public at one of Britain’s most popular attractions, visited by 5.8 million people in 2014.

“It has been found that the tanks are surrounded by formaldehyde fumes, constantly exuded in the atmosphere (likely via the sealant), reaching levels of five ppm (parts per million), one order of magnitude higher than the 0.5 ppm limit set up by legislation,” the journal abstract states.

One work that emitted high levels was “Away from the Flock”, a 1994 exhibit showing a lamb preserved in formaldehyde solution in a glass and steel box.

Gas was also detected around “Mother and Child (Divided)”, a 1993 work which comprises four boxes containing a calf and cow, each bisected, although the exact level was not written in the journal article.

Unrelated to Hirst’s preserved bloody works, the scientists found similar results in the Summer Palace in Beijing, particularly around some artworks. No levels were given in this case and the study’s authors suggest the results could be blamed on new lacquer painted on old works. This illustrates that formaldehyde is found all around us, particularly in applications of lacquer and the like in furniture. Typically, only prolonged exposure is harmful.

“Tate always puts the safety of its staff and visitors first, and we take all necessary precautions when installing and displaying our exhibitions,” a spokesman for the Tate Modern said.

“These works contained a very dilute formaldehyde solution that was contained within sealed tanks.”

Later in the week, Hirst responded on his website to the study, which was led by Pier Giorgio Righetti at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy.

“We do regular testing and our experts tell us that at the levels reported by this journal, your eyes would be streaming and you would be in serious physical discomfort. No such complaints were made to us during the show —or at any other shows or sites featuring the formaldehyde works. We don’t believe any risk was posed to the public.”

In a statement, Righetti said the research “was intended to test the uses of a new sensor for measuring formaldehyde fumes and we do not believe that our findings suggest any risk to visitors at Tate Modern”.

damien hirst

Damien Hirst collaborates with Alexander McQueen

damien hirst

Alexander McQueen has tapped Damien Hirst to create 30 limited-edition scarves in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the brand’s signature scarf print.

Each print is inspired by Hirst’s Entomology paintings – butterflies, bugs, spiders and other insects form kaleidoscopic geometric shapes, laid out to create the McQueen skull motif.

The brand said that Hirst was chosen because of his shared aesthetic vision, “in which an interest in symmetrical design is combined with strong references to the natural world.”

They will be available from McQueen boutiques and alexandermcqueen.com from mid-November in chiffon, pongé, twill and cashmere, reports WWD , with prices starting at £315.

Spot Painting Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst Redesigns Brit Awards Statuette

Damien Hirst Brit Awards 2013 Trophy

Damien Hirst has designed the 2013 Brit Awards statue. The artist is the third British creative to give the music prize a makeover, following Vivienne Westwood in 2011 and Sir Peter Blake in 2012.

Hirst’s statue is covered with bright multi-coloured dots – a signature motif of the artist. The trophies will be handed out during the ceremony on February 20. “I am honoured to be asked to design this year’s statue,” said Hirst. “It has become such an iconic award, I love the Brits.”

Cock and Bull Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst Brands a London Restaurant

Cock and Bull Damien Hirst

Internationally renowned British artist Damien Hirst has created an art piece for a London restaurant in which a whole Hereford cow and cockerel are preserved in formaldehyde in a steel and glass tank, smack dab in the middle of the dining room.

Called “Cock and Bull,” the showpiece towers four meters above diners at Tramshed which —  surprise — serves only steak and whole roasted chicken.
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Takashi Murakami Acupuncture Flowers

Louis Vuitton – Art for baby

Takashi Murakami Acupuncture Flowers

Louis Vuitton and Yana Peel hosted an “Art for Baby” opening reception on 18th January 2011 at Espace Louis Vuitton Hong Kong.

The “Art for Baby” exhibition brought together in celebration of the Asia launch of the highly-acclaimed book by the same name.

It showcases the 20th century’s most prolific painters from America, Europe and Asia, with works by Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Julian Ope and Takashi Murakami.
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Damien Hirst for Louis Vuitton

Damien Hirst is one of six people who were asked in 2008 by Louis Vuitton to dream up a unique item embodying their professional expertise.

The designs were produced at the company’s workshop in Asnieres, near Paris, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

Official news and images have now been revealed, and the twin trunks created by the English Art Superstar are more impressive than we first thought.
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