The things we collect can say a great deal about us; so can the way we disperse a collection. The Art of Divorce is the intriguing title Russell Crowe has given to the sale of what he calls ‘my stuff’: ‘stuff I have worn, stuff I have bought, stuff I have admired, stuff I have loved, stuff that has made me laugh, stuff I have sweated through, and stuff that has made me bleed for my art’.
Crowe, a rather enigmatic public figure and movie star, has written a disarmingly charming and candid introduction to the Sotheby’s catalogue for his auction on 7 April at Carriageworks. He is clearly simplifying his life; given his reportedly considerable wealth, he certainly doesn’t need the money.
The catalogue includes 60 items either worn or used by Crowe in some of his films.
Among these are a fully functioning Roman chariot and a cuirass from Gladiator his Oscar-winning movie in 2000 , a violin (Milan 1890) which he played as Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander (2003). There are 18 electric guitars (he had a band) and an acoustic guitar (New York 1870).
The catalogue of 227 items includes paintings by Margaret Olley, Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Brett Whiteley, several lovely works by Penleigh Boyd, and a number of 19th century maritime paintings. There are two motorcycles, and the black Mercedes S500 used for his 2003 wedding to Danielle Spencer. This is a fascinating and stylish catalogue.