It all started with Victoria Beckham. Sotheby’s Old Masters department had great success attracting attention to their sales by partnering with Victoria Beckham in London. There was a film with James Franco too. But now Sotheby’s is putting together the most surprising juxtaposition of Old Masters and Contemporary pop culture. Fabrizio Moretti, the Strokes drummer, and Fabrizio Moretti, the Old Masters dealer, are collaborating on a December exhibition at Sotheby’s headquarters. The show is designed by Fab Moretti, the drummer, around works selected by Fabrizio, the dealer. The International Rescue Committee will benefit from the efforts of both.
Here’s Sotheby’s release on the sale:
Sotheby’s is pleased to announce Fabrizio Moretti x Fabrizio Moretti | In Passing, a special, one-time-only exhibition and auction of Old Master paintings and sculpture bringing together musician and visual artist Fabrizio (Fab) Moretti, of the critically acclaimed and internationally Platinum-certified band The Strokes, and renowned art dealer and collector Fabrizio Moretti, who specializes in Old Masters and is proprietor of the London-based Galleria Moretti.
The unique collaboration will include an exhibition of more than 20 Old Master paintings and sculpture selected by Fabrizio Moretti, which will be showcased in a series of immersive and interactive installations designed and fabricated by Fab Moretti, each playing on the concept of perspective and based on corresponding themes represented in the works.
The exhibit will be on view at Sotheby’s New York 15 – 18 December, ahead of the live auction on 18 December. Online bidding for the auction opens 22 November, and all works in the auction will be sold without reserve.
This collaboration is part of an ongoing initiative spearheaded by Sotheby’s Old Masters department to introduce new audiences to masterworks of the pre-Modern era. Earlier this year, Sotheby’s hosted The Female Triumphant, a groundbreaking sale of paintings by female Old Master artists in partnership with Victoria Beckham. Previous initiatives also included Naturalia, an exhibition of Old Masters and Contemporary art at Kasmin Gallery; curated interiors featuring Old Master Paintings by contemporary designers; and a film by James Franco inspired by Renaissance sculptures by the della Robbia family.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit two organizations personally selected by Fab and Fabrizio: The International Rescue Committee, which responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities; and The Fabrizio Moretti Foundation, a non-profit organization located in Prato, Italy, which works to give those with certain disabilities access to the therapeutic benefits of horses.”
For the exhibition, Fab will design and create a series of immersive installations throughout the exhibition, each reflecting and playing on various themes he identified as being represented in the Old Master works on display, including life, religion, purgatory, death, repentance and commerce. Utilizing light and space in dynamic and dramatic ways, the installations seek to explore new perspectives on the individual artworks, as well as address the traditional and often depersonalized ways the public experiences art.
As perspective was so critical in compositions of the Old Masters, Fab’s maze-like construction of installations—with sharp-angled walls, narrow hallways, and hidden viewing rooms—continues their interest in playing with perspective, but with an interactive spin that brings the works into the present. Inspired by the devotional context of many of the Old Master works featured in the exhibition, Fab’s installations encourage viewers to embrace a slower approach to their viewing, spending time in the installations individually to create a personal connection between the viewer and the work.