Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 16 October 2019

What makes this painting worth Dh3.5 million

Damien Hirst’s Beautiful, Hallo, Space-Boy Painting, formerly owned by the late David Bowie, sold at a recent auction. Here’s what makes this work so special.
Damien Hirst’s Beautiful, Hallo, Space-Boy Painting. Courtesy Sotheby’s
Damien Hirst’s Beautiful, Hallo, Space-Boy Painting. Courtesy Sotheby’s

Beautiful, Hallo, Space-Boy Painting, formerly owned by the late David Bowie, sold at a recent auction for Dh3,558,670. Here’s what makes this work so special.

The painting, created by English artist Damien Hirst in 1995, is titled Beautiful, Hallo, Space-Boy Painting. It was unveiled in the same year that Hirst won the Turner Prize.

It was composed by pouring household emulsion paint onto a rapidly rotating canvas. The work is part of a larger collection known as the Spin paintings. The first design – titled Beautiful Ray of Sunshine on a Rainy Day Painting – was created in 1992 in Hirst’s studio in Brixton, London.

Work on the collection of paintings is said to have started in earnest in 1994, when Hirst had a spin machine made while he was living in Berlin. Paintings in this collection are characterised by their elongated titles, all of which begin with the word “beautiful” and end with “painting”.

This painting was a collaboration between Hirst and David Bowie, and much like the rest of the Spin collection, embodies what has been called “a euphoric ecstasy of childlike explorations”.

Bowie said of the collaboration: “I felt like I was 3 years old again. It reminded me of Picasso’s attitude. You know, he set the parameters in the studio that produced a kind of playfulness out of which came a very pure thing.”

This piece was featured in the much-publicised Bowie/Collector auction by Sotheby’s, which took place last month in London. The auction itself was split into three parts: Part I: Modern and Contemporary Art, Evening Auction, Part II: Modern and Contemporary Art, Day Auction and Part III: Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis Group.

The auction consisted of 356 items from Bowie’s personal effects. “Art was, seriously, the only think I’d ever wanted to own … I’ve always found that I collect. I am a collector,” Bowie told The New York Times in 1998.

The auction raised an incredible US$41.1 million (Dh151m) in total, with more than 1,750 people attending the sales and 26,500 participating in the process online.

Read this and more stories in Luxury magazine, out with The National on Thursday, December 8.

alane@thenational.ae

Updated: December 8, 2016 04:00 AM

SHARE

SHARE