Some of the best art collectors in the world have proven to also be some of the biggest stars on the planet. With the kind of wealth and influence that their success in film, music and television has allowed them, many have turned an interest in art into a full blown passion. Many of them have collections that are worth more on their own than the average person spends on entire homes. As you can imagine, it ends up with many of them having very impressive collections that they can showcase. Some even end up displaying their collections for the entire world to see, either through exhibitions at art galleries to even opening up their own dedicated art gallery.
A few celebs have even managed to turn some serious profit in their passion with their art exhibition, pocketing some serious cash or dedicating it to charities around the world. And while art has become a passion late in life for many celebrities, some of them have always been drawn to the world of art and finally have the opportunity to indulge in the works of artists from all around the world. Some of them have even ended up befriending the artists in question and collaborating with them on other work. Ranging from classical masterpieces to obscure modern creators, many kinds of artists have been featured in a whole host of different pieces. Here are fifteen of the most impressive personal art collections brought together by major celebrities, and the kind of works that they like to bring into their homes.
15. Leonardo DiCaprio Likes To Support Contemporary Artists Around The World
Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and has been for over two decades at this point. He’s grown from a teen heartthrob into one of the most respected stars in Hollywood, become a global fighter for protecting the Earth and generally just being the ideal man in modern culture. This is a guy who is constantly surrounded by supermodels, and it doesn’t always feel like he’s even trying. And to make matters worse for literally every other guy on the planet, the man is also a massive art collector. He’s acquired a number of impressive work from artists all around the world and across many different styles, including Takashi Murakami and Ed Ruscha. The man even sat for a portrait by Elizabeth Peyton. He’s also taken part in various art auctions, often times donating the proceeds to charities around the world. Seriously DiCaprio, that’s like one step away from becoming a real version of Batman.
14. George Lucas Helped Create An Art Museum In Los Angeles
George Lucas is the creator of the Star Wars franchise, and possibly one of the wealthiest individuals in the entertainment industry. George Lucas proved to be a financially catty creator during the heyday of his career, turning what could have otherwise been an enjoyable and memorable sci-fi series into the merchandising juggernaut that the Star Wars brand has turned into. But Lucas has actively been using that money to benefit society in recent years. This has included buying up land to develop affordable housing for families in need, as well as planning to turn his impressive personal collection of art (which ranges from traditional Americana like Norman Rockwell to artwork meant for film to even digital artists such as David Hockney) into the foundation for an entire arts museum based in Los Angeles. You know you’ve collected an impressive number of paintings when multiple cities start fighting for the museum you want to keep them all in.
13. Oprah Winfrey Likes Supporting African-American Artists
One of the most powerful women in the world (to the point that the joke of her running for President was swiftly met by a resounding “YES” all across the internet), Oprah Winfrey has never been shy about her passion for art. Some of her charitable foundations support artists all around the world. And as such, it makes perfect sense for Oprah to have her own collection. She has an appreciation for African-American artists, as well works from around the world. Her collection has grown to the point where she’s even begun auctioning some of the works off (such as paintings by Hovsep Pushman and Richard Edward Miller), some of which have even managed to sell for $150 million on their own. All the proceeds go to supporting girls all around the world, and conveniently also open up some new space in her gallery to grab some new pieces. It’s the epitome of spring cleaning, only with gorgeous works of art instead of the junk most of us keep in the garage.
12. Hugh Grant Bought A $2 Million Andy Warhol Piece After A Night Of Partying
For Hugh Grant (the international star of a whole host of romantic movies from the last three decades), art runs in the family. His father was a painter himself, James Grant. The late James left a number of pictures in the care of his son Hugh, who manages the lot of them to this very day. But his greatest (and most hilarious) art collector moment came with his purchase of an Andy Warhol piece. The picture of Elizabeth Taylor was priced at $2 million, which Grant went all in on after he partied a little too hard. Look, we’ve all made a purchase or two in that state; it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, it proved that even when out of it, Grant had a good eye. He was eventually able to auction the piece himself and pocket a cool couple of millions above his initial purchase. He may not spread out as far as other celeb art collectors, but Hugh might want to consider keeping at it.
11. Tobey Maguire Has An Art Collection That Rivals Leo DiCaprio’s Collection
The first of so far three people to play Spider-Man in major motion pictures, Tobey Maguire became a massive star in no time at all thanks to the role. He famously became a notorious poker player, before transitioning more into art appreciation. He’s been collecting artwork for over ten years, and has managed to have some pretty good luck with his hunt for art. He’s a frequent visitor of the Armory Show in New York and Art Basel in Miami, and has acquired work from artists such as Mark Ryden, Kaz Oshiro and street artist KAWS. His collection (that he shares with jewelry designer and wife Jennifer Meyer) even rivals his longtime friend Leonardo DiCaprio’s collection, which as we established earlier is no small feat on its own.
10. Neil Patrick Harris Has A Passion For Modern Art
Neil Patrick Harris might be the most charming celebrity out there, which is pretty impressive when considering how being a celebrity in general demands a good portion of charm. But the former How I Met Your Mother star and all around song-and-dance man has proven to be a fun and personable sort of person over the years. This is reflected with his taste in art, which skews more modern than many of his peers. Where most people collecting art prefer to find classical pieces, Harris more often than not favors contemporary artists that are less established in their field. This has included pieces from artists such as Ahemd Alsoudani, David Wojnarowicz and Annie Lapin. It’s a constantly expanding gallery, and it’s apparently gotten to the point where he and his husband David Burtka have been forced to deal with the fact that they’re running out of space for all the art they’ve collected.
9. Steve Martin’s Biggest Hobby Is Collecting Contemporary American Art
Steve Martin has been a consistent comedy force for almost half a century, managing to get laughs out of every kind of role he plays. But ever since his career started, the actor has been indulging in one of his biggest passions: collecting art. He’s well-known around the world, and is often seen at art fairs and auctions around the globe. Martin has a solid mix of masterworks and obscure pieces, with a penchant for contemporary American art (think along the lines of Cindy Sherman or Roy Lichtenstein). During an interview with Time Magazine, Martin said “Collecting art is my biggest hobby… Art is so different from what I that’s it’s an escape for me. It’s like, good grief, these things are so beautiful. How did this happen?”
8. Christina Aguilera Is A Big Fan Of The Artist Banksy
Christina Aguilera was one of the biggest pop stars in the world, before transitioning with grace into a more defined role as a singer and staple on television. She’s reached the kind of long-standing success that most pop artists never get to meet, and has even been called one of the finest singers of all time by institutions such as Rolling Stone. As she’s grown, she’s also become a huge fan of street art and has developed a healthy collection of pieces from that general school of design. Introduced to this brand of graffiti inspired art by her former husband Jordan Bratman, Aguilera has since spent an estimated $44,000 on works by Banksy, and has become somewhat obsessed with D*Face. It even got to the point where she got him to collaborate on the cover art for her 2010 album, Bionic.
7. Jay-Z & Beyoncé Are Avid Collectors Of Modern Art
The most powerful couple in entertainment and the undisputed king and queen of modern music, the pair of Jay-Z and Beyoncé have come together to create an incredibly impressive art collection alongside their other major purchases. Jay-Z has been actively collecting art since 2008, working with art advisor Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn to refine his tastes. He’s dropped a number of references to classic art in some of his raps, and some of their more modern pieces have served as the background for Beyoncé’s single 7/11. During an interview with Howard Stern, Jay-Z talked about what draws him to a piece, specifically one by David Hammons. He said, “I try to buy things that resonate with me. David Hammons has made a huge painting with bricks on the bottom which reminds me of the projects, where I come from.”
6. Brad Pitt’s Obsession With Collecting New Art Caused Issues With Angelina Jolie
When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie divorced, it sent shockwaves throughout almost all of popular culture. One of the most established and famous couples in the world at the time, their split had a fascinating effect on the pristine art collection the two had amassed in their time together. Pitt alone was ranked as the seventh biggest Hollywood art collector by Wealth-X, with many of their acquisitions making headlines around the world. His commitment and fascination with art have led to his own interest in creating, something encouraged by some of his friends (Pitt has even been known to draw sketches of his own Art Deco designs that attracted the attention of Pitt Pollaro) that may have also put a strain on his relationship (Jolie reportedly confronted him in 2008 about his commitment to getting new art instead of donating more to charity).
5. Madonna’s Collection Is Worth Around $100 Million
Madonna was a major figure in modern music, and there’s no way to deny it. She’s had a serious influence on many of the acts that have come to dominate popular music in modern years, and she’s turned into an actual living legend in the music industry. Befitting her status, Madonna has also proven to be a huge fan of art, amassing a seriously impressive collection over the years. She’s been collecting since 1987, and has added pieces from artists such as Tamara de Lempicka and Frida Kahlo to her collection over the years and decades. Her collection has grown to the point where it’s worth an estimated $100 million all together, which is insane. That’s basically her very own museum of amazing works, and that’s impressive, even among all her fellow famous art collectors.
4. Alec Baldwin Is Very Serious About Collecting Art
During his tenure on 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin‘s Jack Donaghy was portrayed as a dedicated socialite and art collector, boasting an impressive gallery of his own and frequently visiting galleries around the city. It’s a trait that the actor shares with his former character, though the misadventures Baldwin has gone through with his art collection have been ridiculous enough to be featured as a subplot in that show. He’s admitted in interviews that he once bought a Pat Steir painting from an auction for $95,000, expecting the bid to be matched before realizing no one else was going to go that high. And even more recently, Baldwin went to court over a dispute with a New York art dealer after she failed to provide the actual painting and ended up being rewarded $1 million and two other paintings from the artist.
3. Mary Kate Olsen Loves To Collect Modern Art And Date Artists
Together, the world famous Olsen twins Mary Kate and Ashley have been an industry all by themselves for almost their entire lives. After a period of successful time as child actresses, the pair became more private and ended up becoming more fascinated with fashion. They’ve even launched their own brand from a boutique in New York City. As the years have gone on, Mary-Kate has partly stood out from her sister with her obsession with artwork. Pieces line the walls of her apartment, ranging from Warhol and Man Ray to the Nobuyoshi Araki work she has hanging near her bed. She’s even dated artists in the past, including American pop artist Nate Lowman. Some of the pieces Olsen have collected cover the boutique she shares with her sister, creating a modern and evocative setting.
2. Kanye West Studied Art In University Before Dropping Out To Make Music
The various controversies surrounding “voice of a generation” recording artist Kanye West have only fuelled his fame around the world. Love him or hate him, Kanye West is the kind of person that everyone has an opinion about. His interest in art and fashion are also well documented, with his interest in art proving to be a consistent presence even with his constantly reinvention of his identity and style. He actually studied the discipline while at Columbia College before dropping out to follow a career in music, and he’s made sure to keep his influences on his sleeves. He’s incorporated artwork by innovative creators such as Takashi Murakami and George Condo in the covers of his albums, and his personal collection has been recognized as an incredibly deep collection of work.
1. Sofia Coppola Is Often Found Checking Out Art At The Art Basel In Miami
Sofia Coppola has always emanated a sense of casual cool and chic culture. Even when she’s just walking around in a sweater, the famed director of Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides always has an air of sophistication about her. This carries over to her appreciation of art, which has expanded into an impressive collection over the years. The paintings she tends to gravitate to, such as the work of Anne-Laure Sacriste and Elizabeth Peyton, are evocative of the sort of feel and look she employs in her own films. But considering she’s a graduate of the prestigious CalArts school, it’s not surprising to see that she has a deep appreciation for artists and the work they bring to the canvas. She’s a common face in art galleries, especially at the Art Basel Miami.
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