London West, UK - Time minus 12 hours since I saw Sotheby's 24 hour view of Bowie / Collector. My time slot, Twelve until Two (in the am hours of this morning) had me excitable all day. It did not disappoint with a DJ and dancing on arrival and the chance to see Bowie's possessions ranging from £millions to £60. The auction is divided into three sales spanning Bowie's art and design collections with one solely dedicated to Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis Group.
I came across Memphis through the pages of a magazine, just like designer Marc Newson who writes in Sotheby's catalogue about discovering Memphis reading design magazines during his weekend job at a newsagent's. It was a console table by Memphis Group founder Ettore Sottsass in the home of Nicholas Ghesquiere that got me hooked.
"It was colourful and appeared to be accessible: people like me thought, shit, this was conceptually within reach. It was incredibly liberating and new, but there was still the aura of sophistication that surrounded high end Italian design. Just like the music of David Bowie… you could dance to it drunk or listen to it carefully" - Marc Newson
Sotheby's 24 hour preview felt liberating. You could dance beneath Bowie's Gilbert & George estimated to make £100,000-£150,000 or look carefully to see subtle signs of life on a man's possessions like Memphis chairs, estimated at £400-600. Either way, it was a precious glimpse into David Bowie's life through his style.
The Personal Art Collection of David Bowie auction will be held at Sotheby's London on 10th & 11th November 2016.