Credit: Joseph GuayElton John has released more than 30 albums, has written several musicals and makes films through his production company. But when it comes to his favorite art form, music, theater and film aren’t in the running. It turns out it’s photography that Elton’s crazy about — even though he didn’t get into it until kicked his drug habit.

The pop-rock legend’s photography collection features some 8,000 images, and he’s lent 191 of them to London’s Tate Modern museum for an exhibit opening Thursday called The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection. He told Britain’s Press Association, “What drew me to photography was I got sober in 1990. I’d had my pictures and photograph taken by a lot of great photographers and never knew anything about it as an art form whatsoever.”

But after Elton saw some vintage fashion photos during a trip to France, he was hooked. He bought 12, and then just kept on buying. Now, he says, photography has “taken over my life in a way.”

“It’s been the art form I’ve loved the most ever and I’ve loved all sorts of art forms,” John reveals. “This is the one I’m most passionate and know most about.” He says collecting photos has been like “going to university and studying a subject I completely and utterly adored.”

Elton adds about the photos, “They’ve inspired me subconsciously. I live with my art. I don’t put it away. It’s on the walls. It fills you with joy.”

He adds, “There’s enough horror and sadness in this world, particularly at the moment. There’s enough negativity. To be able to enjoy this every day when I get up, is a huge bonus.”

The exhibit runs through May 2017, and Elton plans to donate some of his collection to the U.K. in the future.

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