David Bowie’s rescued painting will sell for 10,000 times its price
A woman who paid five Canadian dollars (US $ 4) for a David Bowie painting is expected to earn more than 10,000 times that amount when it goes up for auction next week.
Canadian auctioneers Cowley Abbott have already attracted more than CAN $ 50,000 for the 1997 artwork, which she discovered in a donation center outside a landfill north of Toronto.
Described as a “semi-abstract portrait”, the painting, authenticated by archivist Bowie Andy Peters, is titled “DHead XLVI” and is one of 47 similar pieces created by Bowie in the 90s. Rendered with strong red tones – brown and teal, the subject’s face is left without detail, which means he is unsure of who he was meant to be. The auctioneers had initially forecast a purchase price of between $ 9,000 and $ 12,000 CAD (approximately $ 7,350 to $ 9,800 US) for the creation “acrylic and computer collage”, which measures 9.5 “x 7.5 in.
“Like many musicians, Bowie studied art and design in his youth, which would foster a love of fine art throughout his life,” Cowley Abbott said on the auction page. “He was also an avid collector and painter, strongly influenced by modernist art trends of the twentieth century… Between 1995 and 1997, Bowie created a series of approximately 47 works on canvas which he titled ‘Dead Heads’ (or “DHead”). Each title included a non-sequential Roman numeral. The models were members of the group, friends and acquaintances and there were also self-portraits. It has been suggested that for some of these important paintings Bowie drew inspiration from the Ziggy Stardust era. “
Thinking back to his decision to go public with his own artwork in 1994, Bowie said later: “I don’t know why I made this choice, and to this day I still don’t know if it was not a mistake… Until then, painting for me was private, and it was really a question of solving problems. I would find that if I had a creative obstacle in the music I was working on, I would often come back to draw or paint it. Either way, trying to recreate the structure of music in painting or drawing would produce a breakthrough. “
He added: “I find that I keep in mind the way people react to art, which has produced a separation between the visual and the musical. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. But I went in with my eyes wide open. I expected the ridiculous – and I got it!
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