LONDON – The inaugural Contemporary Curated auction at Sotheby’s London follows the successful series of sales in New York aimed at new collectors. This March sees celebrated fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu choose an array of works from the sale that appeal to him. Here, he talks about art and inspiration.
Has art always been part of your life?
Yes definitely. My mother would read to my sister and me every night and show us art books. She was a very visual person. When we visited England (her home country) we would go to places like the National Gallery and The British Museum. She always encouraged us to be creative. When I moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art my interest in art continued. Studying at the RCA was an amazing experience; one week we would have Hussein Chalayan as a guest speaker, the next it would be Wolfgang Tillmans…
How has art inspired you?
I’m constantly looking to art for inspiration. It can often be a catalyst for what I’m exploring for the season.
Where did you seek inspiration for your current collection?
I was looking at the European emigrants in the late 19th century that moved into the great plains of Western America. I was looking at Andrew Wyeth’s realist paintings, in particular the piece titled Christina’s World.
“I LOVE THE JUXTAPOSITION OF THE ABSTRACT AND FIGURATIVE IN ALEX KATZ’S WORK. THE VIBRANCY OF THE COLOURS ALSO APPEALED TO ME. IT’S SOFT AND GRAPHIC AT THE SAME TIME. ” ALEX KATZ, BUTTERCUP 1, 2002. ESTIMATE £8,000–12,000. TO BE OFFERED IN SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY CURATED SALE IN LONDON.
Have you always collected art? Do you recall the first thing you bought?
I started collecting art about seven years ago. The first thing I bought was a photograph by Wolfang Tillmans.
How has your collecting taste changed over time?
Initially I only looked at photography, but recently I’ve become interested in illustration and painting.
Where do you keep your collection?
Does it hang in your home, studio or shop? In all three. My favourite pieces currently live in the store including a David Hockney photo collage and drawings by Andy Warhol and Jean Cocteau. My house is under construction, so most of the art is in storage or propped up at the studio.
“I LOVE THE CINEMATIC NATURE OF MATTHEW BARNEY’S WORK. THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THE IMAGE THAT MAKES ME WONDER WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN ” MATTHEW BARNEY, CREMASTER 3: CHRYSLER IMPERIAL, 2001. ESTIMATE £5,000–7,000. TO BE OFFERED IN SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY CURATED SALE IN LONDON.
Have you bought art at auction?
Most recently I have bought work by Rineke Dijkstra, Candida Hofer and a Hockney photo collage.
How did this collaboration with Sotheby’s come about?
My first connection with Sotheby’s was purchasing pieces for my collection. A couple of months ago Sotheby’s and I partnered for the launch event of ERDEM X – a folio of ten photographs by Sølve Sundsbø to celebrate my ten year anniversary.
I’m thrilled to be involved with Contemporary Curated. It’s a fascinating process and such an opportunity to work with an auction house through all aspects of a sale, from the cataloguing to actually looking at the specific pieces and getting to grips with the body of work. The amazing variety of works is so exciting, it’s an amazing learning curve, which I was really happy to be part of.
“I LOVE THAT RUFF IN THIS SERIES HAS DIGITALLY ALTERED IMAGES FROM JAPANESE MANGA AND ANIMÉ. I AM OBSESSED WITH JAPAN AND WAS RECENTLY THERE. THIS PIECE IS LIKE A STRANGE HALLUCINATION." THOMAS RUFF, SUBSTRAT 29 III, 2006. ESTIMATE £30,000–40,000. TO BE OFFERED IN SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY CURATED SALE IN LONDON.
Erdem Moralioglu trained at the Royal College of Art in London where he remained to launch the brand following his graduation. Known for his use of experimental textiles, vibrant prints, and detailed craftsmanship, his eponymous brand has received numerous accolades over the years, including the 2010 inaugural Vogue / British Fashion Council Designer Fashion Fund Award, the 2014 British Fashion Council’s Womenswear Designer of the Year Award and most recently the 2015 British Fashion Council’s Establishment Designer award. His creations are sold in over 170 retailers worldwide and the recently brand opened its debut flagship store in London’s Mayfair.