Friday, 14 October 2011

Nat Tate at Sotherby's

This is a fabulous story, isn't it? Wedged between the woeful news items about ministerial misdoings, utility over-charging, and economic meltdown, Radio 4 proved that it can bring a smile to my face at breakfast time.

On 14th November, Sotherby's are to sell by auction this small drawing, one of the few remaining works of the American artist, Nat Tate (1928 - 1960). Nothing was known about Tate, who destroyed the majority of his works, until a biography by William Boyde, published in the late 1990s, was launched at high profile events in Manhattan and London.

However, Tate never existed - the whole thing was an elaborate hoax by Boyde and the pop icon, David Bowie. Boyde himself produced the art work.

You can read what Boyde says about how the idea of Nat Tate was born in today's Guardian.

A Sotherby's spokeswoman suggested that the drawing might achieve a higher price than it would have achieved had Tate been a living breathing artist. What's more, Boyde will be donating the proceeds to the Artists' Benevolent Fund. Good for him!!

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