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‘The most interesting person I’ve ever met’

Elise Outerbridge. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Masterworks curator Elise Outerbridge, below, will always remember the day David Bowie casually walked into the gallery, launching the first of many conversations between the two about art.

“I remember sitting in our little gallery on Front Street and he walked in with Iman,” she said.

“I said ‘Oh my God, that’s David Bowie.’ I just adored him.

“He was really cool and we started talking about art. He later contacted us because he wanted to move some paintings from Geneva, so he started calling.”

She said they continued to discuss art during their conversations.

“He said to me: ‘Elise, you know nothing about British art,” so he sent me these British art tapes. I said to him that he didn’t know anything about American art. We had a relationship where we went back and forth.”

“I remember one time we went to their home for dinner. He played the most amazing music, everything from Louie Armstrong to Mozart.

“The person I met really didn’t think of himself as a musician so much as an artist who used music as a mechanism to moving his thought process.

“He was probably the most diverse, interesting person I have ever met in my life. He was the kind of person who could talk about everything. I think Bermuda was a wonderful respite for him, like it has been for so many artists.”

Masterworks founder Tom Butterfield said his only encounter with Mr Bowie also took place at the old Masterworks gallery, saying: “The first thing that surprised me was that he was somewhat smaller than me.

“On stage he looked larger than life. He carried that kind of persona, but he was really a humble man.

“We had a wonderful conversation about life in Bermuda. I think he bought about 15 paintings by Catherine Watlington.

“They seemed like a loving, normal couple. I think that surprised me more than anything else.”