Brian Kennedy selling off art to pay costs of cancer treatment

Brian Kennedy is selling a sizeable amount of his private art collection.

Brian Kennedy selling off art to pay costs of cancer treatment

Brian Kennedy is selling a sizeable amount of his private art collection.

The singer/songwriter (52), who has been battling cancer-related health problems, is offloading 21 paintings which are going under the hammer with De Veres auction house on March 26.

The paintings include nine works by the late iconic Patrick Scott. He is also auctioning off four Louis le Brocquy prints, and work by Sean Scully, Walter Verling and Colin Watson. As part of the collection is a charcoal portrait of Kennedy by Colin Davidson.

The Belfast native recently said after his nine-hour surgery for colorectal cancer in a London hospital that: “I’ve been on an incredible journey in the last two years of leaving no stone unturned. And this, it seems to be the best path.”

That path led him to have his colon, rectum and prostate removed which has resulted in him having two bags, a colostomy and a urostomy attached to his stomach for the rest of his life. He is now undergoing chemotherapy.

Kennedy paid tribute to the “army of angels” that looked after him in hospital, and the support of his friends.

Appearing a week ago on RTÉ’s Ray D’arcy Show Kennedy admitted his surgeries and treatments were costing £100,000 (€116,000) and explained that he “didn’t have enough health insurance”.

There was also a recent charity ball in which singers including Van Morrison donated instruments to fund his crippling medical costs.

The guide estimate for the entire eclectic mix of works is €29,500. Rory Guthrie, director of De Veres, located on Dublin’s Kildare St said that they were approached recently to sell the paintings.

“Brian was happy for his name to be mentioned in the catalogue for the forthcoming auction. He did not say why he was selling them but we are of course delighted he chose us,” added Mr Guthrie.

“It’s early days on the lead up to the auction but there has already been interest shown in Brian’s collection, along with a separate Jack Butler Yeats which was once owned by two former Fianna Fáil taoisigh Seán Lemass and his son-in-law Charles J Haughey and his extended family.

“We don’t know how the current private vendor came to own the painting but it too will draw a lot of attention.”

The Yeats oil on canvass painting which is a mere 14” by 18” in size and is owned by the two avid art lovers, is available at a price between €150,000 and €200,000.

Lot 25 titled ‘Tralee’ is viewed by art historians as a rare work which show the artist on the cusp of change from his humorist and observational phase into his fully-fledged expressionist mature style. In 1998, it failed to sell at auction in Sotheby’s London. It had been anticipated that the painting, depicting an old man sitting on a river bank outside the Co Kerry town, could fetch from £250,000 to £300,000 (€400,00 to €450,000). The current guide price is a lot less than that of 21 years ago.

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