A David Bowie painting purchased at a donation centre in South River for just $5 is now up for auction and it could fetch up to $12,000, according to art auctioneer Cowley Abbott.
An icon of pop and rock, Bowie is best known as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, but he was also an avid art collector and painter. The artwork discovered at South River’s Machar Mall is titled D Head XLVI and is part of a series called Dead Heads that Bowie painted between 1995 and 1997. The series includes approximately 47 works, each with a non-sequential Roman numeral in the title. The auctioneer described the “chance discovery of this treasure within a pile of discarded goods” as remarkable.
“The consignor of the painting was astonished upon viewing a label which read ‘David Bowie’ and realizing it was the signature of the artist inscribed on the reverse,” said Cowley Abbott in a press release. “After conducting thorough research, which included correspondence with a David Bowie specialist in the United Kingdom, we were able to confirm that the painting is indeed by the famous artist and part of a series that he completed in the 1990s.”
The subject of this particular work is unknown, but other paintings in the series depict band members, friends and acquaintances as well as Bowie himself in several self-portraits. Having a Bowie painting up for auction is a rare occurrence, said the art auctioneer, and it’s been suggested that some of the inspiration for the paintings came from his career-defining Ziggy Stardust era.
“We are pleased to be entrusted with such an exciting artwork and look forward to sharing this painting with collectors before finding D Head XLVI a new home,” Cowley Abbott said. “This rare work by the world-renowned David Bowie is featured in our Online Auction of International Art, with bidding open between June 15th and 24th, with an estimate of $9,000-12,000.”
Cowley Abbott also oversaw the record-breaking sale of a painting that came from a Muskoka home. The piece, Column on Browns by Canadian abstract artist Jack Bush, sold at auction for $870,000, surpassing the previous artist record by $170,000.