Patrick McMullan received his first camera from Andy Warhol, who told him, “You have to have your camera with you at all times. If you don’t, you’re going to miss something.”
This simple advice has served McMullan well over the years, as he gas amassed a body of work taken on the frontlines of fashion, nightlife, and the art world since the 1980s.
“If you don’t know Patrick McMullan, you ought to get out more!” Warhol said. Indeed, over the past few decades, McMullan has become more than a photographer—he is the consummate insider. His sexy, sumptuous pictures, which have appeared in the glossies for years, have helped to launch countless careers and preserve the mystique of celebrities from all walks off life.
Back in the days, McMullan was part of a circle that included artists like Brice Marden, Francesco Clemente, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, just as their careers were hitting stratospheric heights. As a creator of images, McMullan easily became a collector, developing his eye through “osmosis.”
“Anything I collect, I see some kind of greatness in it,” he observes.
Over the decades, his private collection has come to include works from the worlds of art, fashion, advertising, and celebrity photography. Beginning today, you can bid on works that McMullan has owned in the highly anticipated online artnet Auction, The A-List: Works from the Collection of Patrick McMullan.
The auction begins at 1:00 p.m. EST and continues through Thursday, June 29, 2017. The A-List features more than 50 photographs, prints, and paintings by artists including Warhol, Haring, David LaChapelle, Steven Klein, Bruce Weber, David Bailey, Arthur Elgort, Slim Aarons, Ross Bleckner, Shepard Fairey, Peter Beard, Marilyn Minter, Harry Benson, and James Nachtwey, among others.
Highlights include a portfolio of 12 signed photographs made by Andy Warhol (estimate: $100-150K), a Shepard Fairey mixed media portrait of Keith Haring made form a McMullan portrait (estimate:$40-60K), and Warhol’s Sitting Bull from his Cowboys and Indians series (estimate: $20-30K).
McMullan understands the desire, even need, to collect, observing, “It’s not enough for me to just look at it—I’ve got to try to have it.” And then there are those works that were gifts, works that have their own private story of provenance that are as much a part of history as the art themselves.
Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Aperture Online, and Feature Shoot. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.