Celebrities and the Art They Collect

by | Jun 14, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

There are so many ways in which a celebrity can influence the interests, tastes, and purchases of their fans, from fashion and make-up to cars and houses. Of course, as an art market platform, when learning about any celebrity, we are always eager to ask the most important question: what kind of art do they buy?

Here are just a few of the world’s most famous celebrity art collectors, along with the art they love…

Leonardo DiCaprio

Of all current celebrity art collectors, DiCaprio is perhaps best known for his interest in the art world. He often uses art to support his philanthropic projects, such as the highly publicised ‘11th hour’ fundraising auction at Christie’s in 2013, and a ‘zero-waste’ art auction held in 2018 featuring works by Jack Goldstein, Ai Weiwei, Richard Prince, and David Hockney, among others. DiCaprio’s wide-ranging personal collection includes artworks by Salvador Dali, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Adrian Ghenie, Takashi Murakami, Jean-Pierre Roy, Andreas Gursky, and Oscar Murillo.

Beyonce and Jay-Z

Anyone who has seen the Carter’s stunning, Louvre-located music video “APES***” would not be surprised to learn the couple have a passion for fine art. Their extensive collection is headlined by Jean-Michele Basquiat, an artist whose work is often found in celebrity collections – in particular, Basquiat’s work “Mecca,” which the Carters purchased for over 3.5 million pounds. Their collection also includes Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, David Hammons, and George Condo, among many other impressive names.

Alicia Keys and Swiss Beats

Another celebrity powerhouse couple, Alicia Keys and Swiss Beats have an extensive collection featuring works by KAWS, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michele Basquiat, Salvador Dali, Swoon, and Takashi Murakami. The couple gained attention from the art world for their recent show at the Brooklyn Museum, ‘Giants’ for which they loaned pieces of their collection with a focus on African American artists like Ernie Barnes and Kehinde Wiley.

David Bowie

Passionate about many art forms within his lifetime, David Bowie’s art collection included easily recognisable names, often artists who had challenged the status quo within their lifetime such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Marcel Duchamp, alongside more eclectic and lesser-known artists whose work had captivated him. He also owned artworks by historical masters such as Rubens and Tintoretto.

Michael Caine

This beloved actor oddly gained more attention for his art collection when selling it than when collecting it. A huge auction for his artworks, collectibles, and film memorabilia in 2022 made a number of headlines, including a painting by Marc Chagall and another by Lincoln Townley, of whom Caine is reportedly a big fan.

Elton John

Sir Elton John, along with his husband David Furnish, have an extraordinarily expansive art collection. They are best known for their vast collection of photography, which has gained renewed attention with their recent loan to the V&A for a collaborative show “Fragile Beauty.” The collection includes photography by Ai Weiwei, William Eggleston, Diane Arbus,

Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, and Tyler Mitchell. Alongside photography, Sir Elton’s collection also includes works by Tracey Emin, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Wang Guangyi, and Philip Taaffe.

Madonna

The singer is often held up as a mover and shaker in late 20th century feminism; perhaps it isn’t surprising that one of the artworks that headlines her collection is Self Portrait with Monkey by the iconic Frida Khalo. Madonna also owns works by Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst and Fernand Leger, although much of her collection is centred on female artists. She has also auctioned off valuable works in her collection to support various causes, such as Legér’s Trois Femmes à la Table Rouge, which garnered $7.2 million for the singer’s educational Ray of Light Foundation.

Victoria and David Beckham

Many of the Beckhams’ artworks pay tribute to their British roots, with names such as Banksy, Tracey Emin, Dinos Chapman and Damien Hirst appearing in their collection. As particularly big fans of Damien Hirst, they commissioned an original work from the world-famous artist for their daughter Harper called Daddy’s Girl.

 

Pope Francis

Although something of an outlier on this list, Pope Francis made headlines last year when he invited a number of contemporary artists to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vatican’s contemporary art collection. This included huge names such as Anish Kapoor, and surprising ones like Andres Serrano – the artist behind the infamous Piss Christ. The Vatican’s collection includes Vincent van Gogh, Francis Bacon, and Henri Matisse. As an art enthusiast, Pope Francis also has his own personal collection, including a portrait of himself by Fabian Perez.

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