“More and more people like to see a sense of individual character coming through and to identify private passions from works,” he said. “In the iPhone era, we have all become collectors of images, in a way. And particularly with living creatives like Mario, the immediacy of access to his life and work appears to have made him even more covetable.”
For Mr. Testino, the decision to put the items up for sale stemmed from a desire to generate fresh funding for his museum, Museo MATE, in Lima, Peru. Titled “Shake It Up,” the sale is of works he amassed over the past 30 years traveling the world for shoots. He began, he said, with a focus on early- and mid-20th-century photography; his appetite broadened along with his bank balance.
“The moment I made some money in the 1980s, I started collecting,” Mr. Testino said. “First it was vintage photography by some of my heroes. Then it evolved into contemporary photography, and then contemporary art. We are always changing, therefore what we want to live with must also change.”
Highlights include pieces by artists and photographers including Vanessa Beecroft, Olafur Eliasson, Nan Goldin, Florian Maier-Aichen, Richard Prince and Wolfgang Tillmans (some of the top lots are cited below).
“It was difficult to make the selection for the sale. I felt like I was seeing my children leave home,” Mr. Testino said. “Nearly all of these pieces I have lived with. But I still own work by nearly every artist in the auction. And when I made the choices I kept thinking that the more I put in, the more we’d be able to help people, children and artists in Peru.”
For the family of Mr. Gonzalez, who died unexpectedly in March at the age of 40, the sale is bittersweet. Known within the fashion world as an avid art collector, he was, said Emily Kaplan, the head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated department, “a real Peter Pan-like figure.” This is illustrated by the pieces in “Neither Appearance Nor Illusion: Property From the Collection of Santiago Barberi Gonzalez,” part of the larger Contemporary Curated series that Sotheby’s holds each year.
The lot will feature 74 works by such names as Antony Gormley, Ed Ruscha, Claude Lalanne and Fernando and Humberto Campana, with an expected price range from about $250 to $400,000.
“I think the consensus was that we wanted everyone to have a chance to buy a piece of Santiago’s collection,” Ms. Kaplan said. “He collected with an amazing amount of passion and knowledge, and the works reflect both the cerebral and playful sides of his much-missed personality.” Many of the pieces deal with the topic of displacement in space and time, she noted. But alongside those works are finger and nail objects, and charming little wooden crocodile toys, synonymous with Mr. Gonzalez’s Colombian home.
“That he lived so vibrantly among all these works, and that he chose them personally, gives them a real power and presence,” Ms. Kaplan said.
The hope that prospective buyers will pay handsomely for the private props of a person’s history is shared by the curators responsible for Christie’s Audrey Hepburn sale. Ms. Hepburn died in 1993, and many of the pieces — film scripts for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Charade” (personally annotated in turquoise ink), Valentino couture, an engraved gold cigarette lighter and instantly recognizable photographs by the likes of Cecil Beaton — have never been available to the public before.
“There have been Audrey Hepburn sales in the past, but this is the first to have come directly from her family,” said Adrian Hume-Sayer, Christie’s director of private collections. Standout pieces from Ms. Hepburn’s closet, he said, include the blue satin Givenchy cocktail dress she wore in a photograph promoting the 1967 film “Two for the Road” (estimate: $11,000 to $17,000); a long tan Burberry trench coat (estimate: $6,700 to $9,000); and her signature colorful ballet flats (estimate: $1,700).
“Unlike other stars of that era, Audrey’s sense of style still feels very accessible and modern — she is the definition of a timeless icon,” Mr. Hume-Sayer said. “And because she is still so beloved, and her look is still so ingrained in the public consciousness, her family were keen to make these particular pieces available to those who loved her. So many parts of her life are in this sale. It is a once-in-a-lifetime event.”
Highlights from September’s stylish auctions
“Shake It Up: Works from the Mario Testino Collection”
Sept. 13, Sotheby’s, London
1. Richard Prince, “Untitled (Girlfriend),” photograph (estimate: $325,000 to $455,000)
2. Below, Sterling Ruby, “SP114,” painting inspired by graffiti in Los Angeles (estimate: $520,000 to $780,000)
3. Wolfgang Tillmans, “Eclipse 2-3,” inkjet print (estimate: $52,000 to $78,000)
“Neither Appearance Nor Illusion: Property From the Collection of Santiago Barberi Gonzalez” (part of the Contemporary Curated auction)
Sept. 27, Sotheby’s, New York
1. Antony Gormley, “Butt,” cast-iron sculpture (estimate $300,000 to $400,000)
2. Below, Ed Ruscha, “Topic,” bleach on linen-covered board (estimate $100,000 to $150,000)
3. Lawrence Weiner, “A Lid on It,” mirrored vinyl (estimate $70,000 to $90,000)
“The Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn”
Sept. 27, Christie’s, London
1. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” annotated script from 1961, document (estimate: $78,000 to $117,000)
2. Below, Bud Fraker (1916-2002), Audrey Hepburn, 1956 photograph (estimate: $1,295 to $2,600)
3. Givenchy Couture, black satin cocktail gown with canvas tag inscribed Givenchy 7 (estimate: $19,000 to $32,000)
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