The man who was sold to the world
When unseen images of music legend David Bowie make an appearance you know there’s going to be interest.
But when those images have been created by internationally renowned artist Peter Howson, you know art critics and collectors from across the globe are going to sit up and take notice.
McTear's isn't a stranger to selling high profile and highly desirable works of contemporary and fine art to customers from across the world so when Peter Howson's former wife decided to sell her collection - which included several unseen 'Bowie' works - she turned to the award winning UK auction house.
The timing of the sale was at a peak of new interest in David Bowie following the release of his new album, and this combined with the quality of the images and the prominence of the artist himself created the perfect platform to promote both the auction and McTear's.
We recognised immediately the impact this story held on a number of levels, and worked to pull together a plan to maximise on the interest using three different media opportunities: revealing the items for sale, a media call to see the pictures for the first time and then the auction itself.
National media interest was generated by using a combination of Howson's personal memories of Bowie's 'sitting' in the early 90s and his wife's reasons for selling her collection – to generate funds to provide care for her daughter.
The images were used across multiple media outlets including international, national and regional press. The story as a whole was carried across broadcast and digital channels and the strong images were also used by McTear's social media channels to raise awareness of the sale within the art dealing community.
The result? A packed saleroom that saw bidders standing outside McTear's auction house, internet bidders from all over the world and numerous phone bidders poised for action.
And at the end of the sale? In excess of £200k raised for the full collection, with the Bowie drawings fetching up to five times their guide price and, importantly, McTear's positioned as a leading player in the sale of contemporary Scottish art.