Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 17:11 UK

Artist to sell life possessions

Jasper Joffe
A break up with his girlfriend prompted Joffe's life changing decision

By Fiona Pryor
Arts reporter, BBC News

Artist Jasper Joffe is preparing to sell everything he owns at an exhibition of his possessions, so he can start again from nothing.

The Sale of a Lifetime exhibition, which starts on Tuesday, will include Joffe's bed, a collection of paintings, letters and his pots and pans.

The 33-year-old said the number 33 will feature heavily, with 33 lots each going up for sale for £3,333.

"For a life's possession it's not a lot really," he said.

If everything is sold he will make £109,000.

He said the sale is a cross between a "funeral and a retrospective".

He added: "When you die people look through all your stuff and probably get rid of most of it.

"And with a retrospective you do a show of all the paintings you have done over the whole of your life, so it combines the two things."

A collection of items that will be sold
The total value I'm selling my entire life at is £109,000. For a life's possession it's not a lot really
Jasper Joffe

'Rock bottom'

He made the decision to put everything he owns up for sale after he split up from his girlfriend at Christmas and left his gallery.

"I suppose I hit rock bottom and I realised my life was in crisis, but at the same time I found this kind of freedom," he said.

"I think by putting everything I own and putting everything on show I can find out where I am with my life because I'll be 34 in about two weeks time."

The number 33 is meaningful to Joffe as it is the age Jesus was believed to be when he died and rose again.

"That idea of changing completely and being reborn is a powerful kind of a metaphor, although I'm not religious," he said.

"I'm dividing everything into 33 groups, and each group is £3,333, so the total value I'm selling my entire life at is £109,000. For a life's possession it's not a lot really."

Although he admitted to feeling "very nervous" about the whole experience, he is also looking forward to his future.

"Hopefully I'll go to Tuscany I think. The exciting thing is if I'm left with nothing then I can make a whole lot of new choices, everything from the clothes I wear to what kind of paintings I paint."

The exhibition opens on Tuesday at the Idea Generation Gallery in east London, and the sale runs from Thursday to Sunday.

Last year, the artist arranged a fair in London, which saw artists give up away £100,000 worth of free artworks.

At the time Joffe said the idea was to provide an antidote to the hype that surrounded Damien Hirst's recent record-breaking sale at Sotheby's, which raised £111m.

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