News: 2016

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Hirst works featured in display of David Bowie’s Personal Art Collection at Sotheby's

8 November 2016

Two spin paintings and a formaldehyde piece are currently being exhibited ahead of auction in London

'Beautiful, shattering, slashing, violent, pinky, hacking, sphincter painting' (1995)


Photograph courtesy of White Cube
©Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, 2016

From the 10th to the 11th November, Sotheby’s will stage Bowie/Collector, a three-part sale encompassing over 350 works from the private collection of David Bowie. At the heart of of the sale is a remarkable group of more than 200 works by many of the most important British artists of the 20th Century, including Hirst, Frank Auerbach, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland. Two Hirst spin paintings – one made with Bowie – and a fish in formaldehyde are included.

From 1st to 10th November, the collection will be exhibited at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries in London, giving visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the extraordinary range of objects that informed Bowie’s private world.

On the occasion of the sale, Hirst writes: 'I love making spin paintings with kids, I’ve got a spin machine that I take to my kids’ school and get all the kids doing them, the joy of making them is what somehow makes them great art, all those crazy moments throwing paint around. That sense of not knowing what you’re doing is distilled in the final result and that’s why they’re so amazing; they immortalise a feeling or a collection of feelings, a fleeting, colourful happiness. They are like tracks in time, like footprints in the snow. David was like a child, childish and childlike, when he came to see me in the studio and we made a giant spin painting together. You have to live in the moment and give up all your preconceptions and just have fun and let the universe do its thing, and he was brilliant fun to spin with. I remember telling him to come to the studio in old clothes but he turned up in brand new expensive clothes, he said he didn’t have any old ones but didn’t mind getting paint on the new shit he was wearing, I loved that! He took his watch off at one point and stuck it on the painting but we spun it some more and it threw it across the studio and smashed it, he never even picked it up.... He always said he found my work emotive, expressionistic. He once described it as ‘a reverberation of sorts’. In that way, the spins feel so fitting for David. I feel so lucky to have shared this small experience with him.'