announced that it will offer for sale a group of works by Damien Hirst, Gilbert & George and Angus Fairhurst from the collection of Eurythmics legend, Grammy and BRIT Award winning musician, songwriter, record producer, and a friend of Damien Hirst, Dave Stewart. The offering of seven artworks, which combined are estimated to realise in excess of £1.3 million, will be included for sale in the forthcoming Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 and Thursday, June 30, 2011.
The collection will be led by Dantrolene, pictured, an early and important example of Damien Hirst's pharmaceutical paintings and among the largest paintings with one-inch spots to appear at auction in recent years. Dedicated on the reverse Being God (for Dave), this painting is testament to a friendship and an artistic symbiosis between musician and artist which was at the very heart of the 1990s Young British Art scene. The work is estimated at £600,000-800,000 ($994,000-1.3 million).
Damien Hirst met Dave Stewart in the early 1990s at the opening of a group exhibition in London's Docklands, where Hirst and Angus Fairhurst staged Freeze in 1988. Dave recalls, "They were giving away Beck's beer, and so we both got really drunk. He was incredibly confrontational. Funny. Exciting. By the end we were under the table - had about 12 bottles each." (Richard Rosenfeld, 'How we met: Dave Stewart and Damien Hirst' in The Independent, 9th October 1994). Dave says of Damien: "He reminds me of the Joker in Batman. Electric, turned on, alive. He'll talk for hours. Really get you buzzing. Says that you've got to cope with death before you can handle life." Damien says of Dave: "Dave is wacky and wonderful. All over the place. Got all these things on the go - like one plus one equals five. A nutter. Mad ideas like Warhol. But completely in control" (Ibid).
That night they met, Stewart quickly penned the lyrics to his song Damien Save Me about their drunken meeting of minds as they swaggered through the streets: 'Damien save me, and be my guide, sooner or later, we're all gonna die.. Damien save me, and be my god, sooner or later, I'm gonna die like a dog" which featured on Dave's solo album Greetings from the Gutter released in 1995. In response, Damien made Dantrolene (Being God for Dave) as a gift and the painting and the story behind it is testament to their close collaboration at a hugely significant moment in the recent history of British culture, where music and art collided and ushered in a new era of Brit Pop and Young British Art. Damien collaborated with Dave for the cover art of the album, in which he lined up brightly coloured gas cylinders in the same way that he arranged colored dots in this work.
In an interview with Sothebys Director and Contemporary Art Specialist, Alex Branczik, Dave Stewart commented on how he met Damien Hirst in the early nineties and the spot painting the artist gifted to Stewart, he continued: It was at the 1992 exhibition that Damien put on where he invited Angus Fairhurst, Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin and some other artists and was held down by the river in a warehouse. It was after this exhibition that we became friends. We were now really good friends. Around then I met Gilbert and George. Damien, Gilbert & George and I actually went on this really crazy trip on my houseboat together down the canals and of course none of us could steer very well, it ended in disaster.
Stewart continued: During this period I bought a lot of pieces guided by Anthony Fawcett by artists who were virtually unknown and coming up, and obviously knowing Damien I bought one of his spot paintings, Acridine. Then Damien gave me as a gift, Dantrolene (Being God for Dave) which is interestingly tied up to a song - I wrote this song Kinky Sweetheart on my album Greetings From the Gutter with Laurie Anderson whispering to each other things like Staying at home, Plugging it in, Kissing the screen, Being a god and then I did the song Damien Save Me. Damien was at the studio in New York whilst I was recording it. Lou Reed was there playing the guitar and many other interesting musicians and it became almost like a happening and so did my album which Damien had done the artwork for. During that period of about three, four years I threw myself all heartily into this world of art and music which was blowing up around me.
Another highlight of the Evening Auction is Gilbert & Georges Mouth, 1983, which is estimated at £150,000-200,000 ($249,000-331,000), which he acquired directly from the artist. Regarding Gilbert & George, Stewart said the following: Annie and I in the early 80s were very struck by Gilbert and George and how they stayed away from everybody and almost created their own world that was blurred between art and their reality. Annie and I in some ways did the same thing at the beginning of the Eurythmics almost copying them in a way; we lived together and also felt separate and apart from everything else that was going on and by hiding away and doing that we did come up with something that was very different musically at the time.
Further highlights include:
(Est. £400,000-600,000 / $665,000-995,000)
Acquired directly from the artist
Gilbert & George
(Est. £100,000-150,000 / $166,000-249,000)
(Est. £12,000-18,000 / $19,900-29,800)
Acquired directly from the artist
(Est. £15,000-20,000 / $24,900-33,100)
(Est. £20,000-30,000 / $33,100-49,700)