David Bowie art sale led by Basquiat painting

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Air Power led the sale of David Bowie's modern and contemporary art collection in London.

The canvas sold for £7m ($8.8m), an increase of 102% on its £3.5m ($4.6m) estimate.

Basquiat David Bowie
Bowie played Andy Warhol in the film of Jean-Michel Basquiat's life

Almost every piece in the auction sold for dramatically over its estimate - suggesting Bowie's star power added a little extra sparkle to proceedings.

Air Power dates to 1984, a year when Basquiat was in full creative flow.

Bowie was a great lover of Basquiat's work.

He wrote in a 1996 article: "It comes as no surprise to learn that he [Basquiat] had a not-so-hidden ambition to be a rock musician.

"His work relates to rock in ways that very few other visual artists get near.

"He seemed to digest the frenetic flow of passing image and experience, put them through some kind of internal reorganization and dress the canvas with this resultant network of chance."

Bowie would also play Andy Warhol, Basquiat's mentor, in a biopic based on the artist's life.

Other highlights included Frank Auerbach's seminal Head of Gerda Boehm (1965), which realised £3.7m ($4.7m) - a huge 657.8% increase on a £500,000 ($621,550) estimate.

That's a new record for the artist.

This deeply charged work was executed over many of hours of sitting. Auerbach's thick, impasto technique builds up a three-dimensional representation that draws as much from sculpture as from painting.

Gerda Boehm was Auerbach's cousin and the only member of his family to escape the Nazi death camps during the second world war.

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