After a long separation, Russell Crowe and his ex-wife Danielle Spencer finalized their divorce this past December. To celebrate (and probably settle some matters, too), Crowe is selling off a bunch of his personal possessions in an upcoming Sotheby’s auction, cheekily titled Russell Crowe: The Art Of Divorce, and set for what would have been the couple’s 15th wedding anniversary. Auctions for living A-list stars are rare, and we haven’t seen a celebrity rummage sale this intriguing since Bukowski’s auctioned off the Ingmar Bergman estate.
Some of it is unsurprising—standard-issue rich person collectables like luxury watches, vintage guitars, and boring art. And, of course, there’s a lot of cricket memorabilia, including autographed jerseys and what appears to be a truckload of cricket bats. But what about the actual 18th century deck gun? The canvas seat back that was definitely stolen from Denzel Washington’s trailer? What do these items tell about the collapse of a marriage? Or Russell Crowe, the man? Because The Art Of Divorce is more than just a chance to morbidly speculate on the end of relationship while vicariously gawking at a Hollywood millionaire’s accumulated hoard. It is your opportunity to become Russell Crowe.
Walk in Russell Crowe’s Romper Stomper Doc Martens. Wear his leather jockstrap from The Cinderella Man underneath his purple double-breasted suit from Virtuosity. Put on Russell Crowe’s Gladiator set pass. You are now Russell Crowe. You ride in your fully functioning Roman chariot while shooting your authentic 18th century dueling pistols. You wear Javert’s uniform as you gaze upon your dinosaur skull. Johnny Cash’s Australian gold records line the walls of your private Xanadu of memory and cricket bats. Silently, the life-sized replica horses stare into you, their teeth bared into a permanent rictus. They find the emptiness in your soul.
You are Russell Crowe, but all you’ve ever wanted was to become someone else, to control your destiny. You live surrounded by other people’s tennis trophies, gold records, and cricket bats. You don the plaster cast of Muhammad Ali’s face like a mask as you squeeze into an old Errol Flynn costume. Stainless steel watches cover your wrists and forearms; you are a penitent to the burden of time. You look out on the world through your antique captain’s spyglass. You are the master and commander now. Your ship is only a model, but it is your own.
You hold the cricket bat like an oar and row an invisible sea.