Burgoyne, who was Madonna’s best friend and roommate in the early 80’s, was a bartender at Studio 54 and partied with her Madgesty, Andy Warhol, and Keith Haring. He died in 1986 of AIDS-related causes. He was 23 years old.
Burgoyne is said to be the inspiration for Madonna’s “In This Life“, which appeared on the Erotica album. He also managed her first tour and drew the cover image for the 1983 “Burning Up” EP album. Following his death, his private collection was inherited by his parents, who have kept it private for the last three decades.
Now in their 80s, Burgoyne’s parents have contacted Mary Dowd, co-owner of Myers Fine Art in St. Petersburg, to sell the entire collection at auction. “I think they came to a point in their lives where they figured that it was time to do something with the collection,” Dowd said. “And so they phone us up and asked us if we would come take a look at it, which we did, and so we saw the breadth of the collection, it was really pretty incredible.”
Pieces from the collection reportedly include:
– An original hand-drawn portrait of Burgoyne by Andy Warhol
– An original invitation to a fundraiser for Burgoyne by Keith Haring
– Candid Polaroids of Madonna and Burgoyne, some possibly taken by Andy Warhol himself
– Black and white Polaroids of Madonna, “looking poised and fragile,” intended for use on an album cover
– Burgoyne’s sketchbook, in which he inked photo booth sessions of Madonna, and a full-color sketch for her ‘Burning Up’ EP album cover
Of Burgoyne’s fundraiser invitation by Keith Haring, the AP notes that the party was written up by the New York Times in September 1986 and “is heartbreakingly sad, not only because of its foreshadowing of Burgoyne’s death, but of prevalent attitudes in that era toward those with HIV and AIDS.” The story noted that “people could be in the same room with someone infected with the AIDS virus without contracting it.”
Dowd believes the original work by Warhol will sell for the highest price, and hopes Madonna herself will bid on a few items. “It seems like it’s something she should have for her historical archives,” she said. “It’s a big part of her life, from the beginning.”
For more information on how you can bid on pieces from Burgoyne’s collection, visit MyersFineArt.com.