Hypebeast meets Gentileschi in a new collaboration from Sotheby’s and Highsnobiety, the German media brand and arbiter of streetwear culture. From January 20 through February 9, a limited-edition collection of T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies featuring standout works from the upcoming Sotheby’s Masters Week auctions in New York will be available on Highsnobiety’s online shop and in their pop-up store, Co.Lab, at Selfridges Corner Shop in London. The threads won’t be cheap, with hoodies priced upwards of €125 (about $139). But they’re considerably less than works in the auction (which begins January 29) like Dutch painter Matthias Withoos’s Still Life with Butterflies and Lizards and a 16th-century Netherlandish memento mori featuring a skeleton holding a skull and arrow, both valued at $60,000-$80,000.
In a statement, David Pollack, Sotheby’s Senior Vice President and Specialist for Old Master Paintings said, “This partnership with Highsnobiety, whose name is synonymous with streetwear and has been at the forefront of the culture for 15 years, was an opportunity to showcase Old Master paintings as remarkably modern, graphic works of art that can be enjoyed outside their mythological or historical context. As masterfully composed, beautiful images, the works have a timeless quality that pairs extraordinarily well with the sleek, contemporary aesthetic designed by the Highsnobiety team.”
The gambit is the latest amid an ongoing push by the Sotheby’s Old Masters department t0 woo new and younger collectors away from contemporary works. Previous initiatives aimed to add a modern context to the field have included last November’s collaboration between Strokes drummer Fabrizio (Fab) Moretti and Old Masters art dealer/collector Fabrizio Moretti, for a special exhibition of 20 Old Master works in dialogue with interactive installations. Prior to that, Sotheby’s held an auction of Old Masters works by women organized by Victoria Beckham and “Naturalia,” which paired works from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries with contemporary artists.