Damien Hirst’s Bodies (1989) is slated to hit the auction block at Phillips in London where expects to achieve between $1.5 and $2.5 million. What’s interesting is that this famed painting was purchased for all of £600 (around $950) by collector Robert Tibbles back in 1989.
Becoming one of Hirst’s first collectors had its perks, as the work was soon hand-delivered by the artist himself.
“Damien came to put it up in the flat with a mate of his,” Tibbles recounts, “and I remember going into the kitchen and hearing Damien instructing his friend, ‘Higher than that, Charles, higher than that!’ ”
Thirty years later, Bodies is slated to hit the auction block at Phillips in London, along with 29 other works from Tibbles’s collection. An enviable line-up of contemporary British artists, including Hirst, Michael Craig-Martin, Gilbert & George, Julian Opie, Gary Hume, and Sarah Morris, many of Tibbles’s pieces were acquired in their first year of creation directly from the artists or their galleries.
The collection will be sold across multiple sales in 2020—including 20th Century & Contemporary Art; New Now; Photographs; and Editions—and anticipate realizing around $5 million. Those in London can view the works at Phillips Berkeley Square headquarters between December 20 and January 5.