For their upcoming auction ‘Bear Witness‘, Sotheby’s has been turned into a giant party house inside out. The facade is ornated by a giant bear neon sign, and even the wallpaper and walls have been redecorated with bear patterns. Sothebys wanted to recreate the house of an eccentric collector who gathered one of the most extraordinary collections to have ever been assembled, and acquired over decades since 1976.
Bear Witness features a wonderland of astonishing art and curious artefacts with major works by the pioneers of post-war and contemporary art alongside countless artefacts, curiosities and objets d’art drawn from across the globe. From Warhol, Haring, Koons, YBAs like Hirst, Chapman Brothers to Renaissance era marble skulls, Art Deco sculptures and 19th-century theatrical props – from the classical to the kitsch – it is a collection with no parallel or precedent.
The collection is unified by two recurring motifs – the bear, symbol of power, strengh and life, and the skull, a reminder of our own mortality, a memento mori.
Three sales will take place over three consecutive days, culminating with the first, and most probably only, dedicated “Bears & Skulls” auction on 12 March. The sheer breadth and diversity of the works on offer is reflected in their estimates, which range from as little as £20 to in excess of £2,000,000.
View the full set of pics here
Sothebys – Bear Witness auction
10 – 12 March 2015
New Bond Street