In recent years many celebrities have purchased artworks by some of the world’s most popular artists and have increased their portfolios to include some of the most sought after pieces of the modern art world. Stars like Elton John, Kylie Minogue, David Beckham and Hugh Grant now all have more in common than celebrity status. They are also avid art collectors. In many cases celebrities that have purchased artwork from up-and-coming artists have also been instrumental in increasing an artist’s worth due to their public endorsement and the world often watches to see who the next big name will be based on purchases by the stars.
Commissioning custom pieces a popular trend
Recently David and Victoria Beckham made headlines when it was discovered that they had commissioned an artwork by Bristol-born artist Damien Hirst. Hirst first became famous for a series of controversial art works created in the 1990s, all of which featured animals in various stages of dissection floating in formaldehyde. His style has since evolved and he has morphed from creating purely conceptual and installation art to creating paintings of a more classic nature.
In 2012 the Beckham’s commissioned Hirst to create an artwork for their daughter Harper’s bedroom and the result is a 7ft pink heart adorned with butterflies. The artwork is believed to be worth £600,000 and is aptly titled Daddy’s Girl. Other stars who own artworks by Hirst include Madonna and Elton John and Rihanna has posed nude as Medusa, complete with a live snake headdress for a GQ shoot directed by the British artist.
Modern art adorns celebrity’s walls
Banksy is one of this decade’s most famous names in the art world and his satirical graffiti-style paintings have made him a household name across the globe. Another Bristol native, it was Banksy’s anonymity that originally earned him fame and his canvases have fetched millions of dollars at auctions over the last few years.
Many celebrities have bought a piece of Banksy and Coldplay’s’ Chris Martin recently spent £400,000 on a canvas print of a heart covered with plasters at a Hollywood fundraiser for Haiti earthquake victims. Many people have criticised Banksy’s stencil style and budding artists could create similar artworks themselves by using the materials found at a place such as http://www.jacksonsart.com/ but it’s his ironic placement, satirical outlook and anonymity that has made him such a cult figure. Several other celebs have purchased works by Banksy and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have spent more than a million pounds on works by the artist for their home.
The trend of celebrities supporting modern artists is not a new one and could be compared to the patrons of the Renaissance period who paid for artists to create some of the world’s most revered masterpieces. In modern times certain artists have capitalised on their famous associations and Andy Warhol, who courted the attention of celebrities, achieved much of his fame through association with others, and his famous prints still adorn some of Hollywood’s most famous abodes today. A celebrity endorsement for a modern artists is a seal of public approval and many artists have seen their own fame grow thanks to a well-known figure showing interest in their creations.
Image credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brighton/4281459698/