Take a Look Inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s Growing Art Collection
For a long time the actor has coveted the canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
He’s just acquired a 1973 work by Frank Stella. In May 2013, he pocketed a Takashi Murakami painting at a Christie’s sale he orchestrated. He has for a long time coveted the canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat and now, Ed Ruscha and his childhood memories involve cartoonists Robert Williams and Robert Crumb. Oh, and as an ultimate emblem of his art world stature, he’s sat for a portrait by Elizabeth Peyton.
The acclaimed actor and art-aficionado Leonardo DiCaprio has developed an acute eye for up-and-coming artists and amassed an impressive collection over the years (see From Hollywood to the Art World, the New Celebrity Collectors). He is also frequently seen behind the scenes at major auctions, like the Christie’s $248 million Contemporary Art Sale in November 2011, and the $219 million Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in May 2014.
Here’s a run-down of some of the work he’s collected over the years.
This past weekend at PULSE Art Fair in New York, DiCaprio scooped up Nachlass (2015) by Brooklyn-based artist Jean-Pierre Roy after seeing a picture of the work exhibited on the Instagram account of Gallery Poulsen from Copenhagen (see DiCaprio Buys Art on Instagram).
At Art Basel in Miami Beach this past December, DiCaprio acquired an important 1973 Frank Stella work from Marianne Boesky gallery for nearly $1 million. Though the gallery primarily carries Stella’s later stainless steel sculptures, the artist’s work produced between 1970 and 1974 would resemble his quite minimal Polish Village series or his concentric squares series, characterized by bold and colorful geometric shapes.
At a Christie’s sale DiCaprio organized to benefit his environmental foundation, the auction lots betrayed his artistic inclinations (see Meet 20 of the World’s Most Innovative Art Collectors). On view at “The 11th Hour” sale were Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (Standard Lotus No.11, Bird of Paradise, Tiger Mouth Face 44.01) (2012), and Andreas Gursky‘s Ocean V (2010), from DiCaprio’s private collection.
At this same auction, DiCaprio bid on Takashi Murakami’s Mononoke (2013), which he bought for $735,000.
At Art Basel in Miami Beach in December, DiCaprio consulted with his dealer friend David Nahmad on a Picasso drawing on view, presumably at Zurich-based Galerie Gmurzynska, who boasted a drawing entitled Fillette (1939) by the Spanish master and whose booth was a celebrity magnet at the fair.
A Picasso drawing also featured as an item at Leonardo’s charity gala in Saint-Tropez this past August (see Billionaire Buys $1 Million Picasso Sketch at Leonardo DiCaprio Gala). And that’s not all—DiCaprio was seen peering over the glass sky-box of a Picasso-heavy Sotheby’s sale in May of this year (see Erratic Bidding at Sotheby’s $219 Million Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art). Seems like the actor has a thing for the Spanish artist.
DiCaprio was seen perusing the Philips auction sale “Under the Influence,” where Oscar Murillo set a personal record of $401,000 with his Untitled (Drawings off the wall) (2011). Vanity Fair has suggested that the sale might have belonged to the hat-bearing actor.
At a Berlin exhibition a few years ago, DiCaprio discovered Walton Ford’s watercolors. The painter’s depictions of extinct and endangered species like the elephant bird or the Tasmanian tiger, match DiCaprio’s own concern for environmental protection. Walton Ford is represented by Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York. His work also featured in DiCaprio’s Christie’s sale.
In an April 2013 interview with the Wall Street Journal, DiCaprio relays that his father introduced him to Los Angeles-based illustrative artists Robert Williams and Robert Crumb in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We wouldn’t be surprised if Leo has coveted some of their earlier cartoons as part of a childhood memorabilia collection.
One of the actor’s first important purchases was a Jean-Michel Basquiat drawing, though which one it is hasn’t been confirmed.
“In New York, Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Julian Schnabel were the guys who were big in the 1980’s when I began to understand art better. They were my heroes, and I’ve continued to be a huge admirer of Basquiat,” DiCaprio told the Wall Street Journal.
He was also seen previewing the Brant Foundation’s Andy Warhol exhibition in May 2013 with mega-dealer Helly Nahmad. He may have laid his hand on a few choice Warhols as well.
DiCaprio has admitted to collecting vintage movie posters from the golden era of Hollywood. These rare lithograph prints were used as wall advertisements and can fetch up to $700,000. It is believed that DiCaprio purchased this Metropolis poster for $690,000 in 2005.
Robert Williams introduced DiCaprio to other LA artists, Ed Ruscha, Todd Schorr, and Mark Ryden. It wouldn’t be surprising if this throng of talent is represented in his private collection, especially the works of Ed Ruscha and Mark Ryden, who also featured in the actor’s Christie’s sale.
Recently, DiCaprio said he was “excited” by the work of sculptor Urs Fischer, whose Good Problem (2013) featured in “The 11th Hour” auction.
Two years ago, Leo posed for painter Elizabeth Peyton. The portrait realized $1 million at “The 11th Hour” sale in May 2013. He may very well carry a few of her portraits and drawings in his collection.
The natural-history museum was a DiCaprio childhood staple, and he has since accumulated an important collection of fossils in his home, consisting mainly of predatory dinosaurs.
Work by DiCaprio’s namesake, Leonardo da Vinci, is housed in the hallowed halls of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. The actor’s parents stood in front of a Da Vinci painting at the Uffizi when they decided to name their son Leonardo. DiCaprio has returned to the gallery to examine the Leonardo works for himself. Of notable view at the gallery are Adoration of the Magi (1452) and Annunciation (1459).
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