Christie's is fortunate to be offering for sale works from the estate of Marcia May, one of the most forward-thinking collectors of contemporary art over the last 30-plus years. Born in Brooklyn, she moved to Texas shortly after her marriage to Alan May and divided her time between Dallas and Manhattan. She was a fixture on the contemporary scene, at gallery events, museum openings and auction previews and was friendly with the most important artists of her time, including Warhol and Basquiat. Her collection was as eclectic as her personality, ranging from Pop art to cutting edge contemporary works, abstraction and figuration, and encompassed every media imaginable from modest works on paper to large-scale photographs and video.
She had a precocious eye and a wealth of friends, and not surprisingly, she began advising many of them, sharing her passion for art and inspiring a generation of collectors. Marcia was one of those people that made the artworld an interesting place--a conversation with her would be exhilirating, occasionally surreal, always provocative and certainly never boring.
Among her friends was the filmmaker and artist John Waters, who wrote shortly after her passing, "I love the early photo of Marcia in the memorial announcement. I knew she was a beehive kind of gal! Why is it that all the great characters I care the most about seem to go first? Marcia was, of course, an art cult leader and a great advisor and collector but we never talked about art that much--we just laughed together over the daily dramas that both of us gleefully endured to get through life. Marcia would have been my friend even if she wasn't an art enthusiast because she was an outsider sympathizer with a hilarious sense of humor, even about herself. She was a little nuts. I loved it when she'd run into me in Chelsea and cover her face and beg "Don't look at me without makeup!" That's like dialogue I would have written for Divine! Marcia always looked pretty to me so I never understood what she was talking about. She had great clothes, too. I never cared how much she weighed - she looked beautiful to me at either end of the scale.
I'll miss Marcia because she was my buddy. When friends ask me, "Do you know Miss so-and-so?" I always joke, "Well, I've met her but I wouldn't call her if I just broke up with somebody and felt sad." I would have called Marcia, though, if that had happened and she'd be happy to listen. But now I can't call her and I'm mad she's dead. There are so many other people that should be. RIP, Marcia, you were a great lady."
Property from the Estate of Marcia May