A monumental painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol from the collection of Elton John and David Furnish comes up at Sotheby’s in Paris on June 7. The two artists first met in a café in 1980, when Basquiat boldly approached Warhol – his idol who was then at the peak of his glory. This encounter led to a series of collaborations in the early 1980s, including this untitled work estimated at €700,000-1,000,000. Basquiat, overwhelmed by his own celebrity, saw Warhol as a protective alter-ego, while Warhol was captivated by the creative energy of his protégé. Sir Elton John met Warhol on numerous occasions.
In 2003 Sothebys London sold the contents of Elton John’s apartment to the great enthusiasm of numerous fans. Over the years the British singer and his husband David Furnish have built up an extensive collection of contemporary art by iconic artists of the last five decades: Willem de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, but also Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, their friend Keith Haring, and Julian Schnabel. Both visionary and inspired, the collection of Sir Elton John and David Furnish is not thus only a remarkable collection by its scope and quality, but also the result of a passion which says much about them. 150 photographs from the collection will be unveiled at the Tate Modern in an exhibition entitled “A Radical Eye: the Sir Elton John Collection” in November 2016.