There are many famous singers who also happen to be amazing art collectors. You may know their names, you may recognise their music, but what do you know about their art collection? Let’s take a look at four world-renowned singers and see what their art collection looks like.
You may (or may not) have heard that some of Madonna’s allegedly stolen possessions went up on auction in 2017. According to Madonna, the person who stole her collection was former friend and art consultant Darlene Lutz. Yes, Madonna worked closely with an art consultant to build up her private collection and it’s estimated to be worth a cool $100 million.
Here are just a few of her known pieces:
While working on her debut album, Madonna briefly dated Jean-Michel Basquiat. According to an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Madonna talked of her fleeting relationship with the artists: “He wouldn’t stop doing heroin. He was an amazing man and deeply talented, I loved him,” She talked of some of his paintings that he gifted her and, triggered by a nasty break up, Basquiat took back and destroyed the paintings: “When I broke up with him he made me give [the paintings he gave me] back to him. And then he painted over them black.”
After an early set back in her pursuit for a desirable art collection, Madonna went on to acquire a number of notable pieces. In 1987, she began to take her collection seriously with her purchase of Fernand Legér’s Les Deux Bicyclettes (1944).
According to an interview with Vanity Fair, Madonna boasted her extensive collection of Tamara de Lempicka paintings: “I have a ton of her paintings in New York,” she said. “I have a Lempicka museum.”
The singer also has a few Frida Kahlo paintings including Self Portrait with Monkey (1940) and My Birth (1932), one of the five paintings created by the artist while she was living in Detroit.
Madonna is also a proud owner of a Picasso, purchasing Picasso’s Buste de Femme à la Frange (1938) for $5 million in a Christie’s auction in 2000.
SIR ELTON JOHN
It’s no secret that Elton John has a spectacular art collection with a particular interest in art photography.
Between November 2016 to May 2017, Tate Modern exhibited John’s renowned photography collection, which included work from Man Rey, Ansel Adams, Irving Penn, and Robert Mapplethorpe. The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection featured over 150 photographs from more than 60 artists, taken between the 1920s and the 1950s, and that was only a fraction of his collection.
Elton John began collecting art in the early 1990s and has continued ever since. In June 2016, he auctioned off a painting at Sotheby’s that Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol collaborated on between 1984 and 1985.
The singer also collects work by Tracy Emin and Philip Taaffe. In an interview with the Telegraph, John was told that his home looked like an “art gallery designed by Austin Powers.” He replied stating, “That’s exactly what I wanted, the LA Seventies rock star look.” This observation may have been influenced by the Keith Herring and David LaChapelle pieces he also holds in his collection.
BEYONCE & JAY-Z
The power couple of the century, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have an ever-growing, impressive art collection. During the 2012 iteration of Art Basel, Miami Beach, Jay-Z picked up a piece by Chicago artist, Hebru Brantley. The painting, titled Everyone’s Scared, was bought by the rapper for $20,000.
David Hammons Basketball Drawing (2006-2007) was spotted in Beyoncé’s 2014 music video for her song 7/11. The music video shows the singer dancing around her apartment and in the background, viewers can spot the painting hanging on the wall.
Name dropping artists is not uncommon in songs written by Jay-Z. The singer made reference to Picasso in the 1998 track, Friend or Foe and has continuously referenced the Spanish artist in his music since then. As well as titling one of his songs simply, Picasso Baby.
So, does Mr. Carter actually own a Picasso? In a tweet Jay-Z shared with his followers, he states that he does not own a one.