David Bowie: bought 5 Canadian dollars, this painting by the artist was sold at auction 108,000 dollars (photos)
Eva Deschamps / June 26, 2021
A painting by British singer David Bowie, bought by a private individual in a charity store for 5 Canadian dollars, was sold for 108,120 dollars (73,600 euros) in an online auction, the Canadian auction house said Friday.
Estimated between 9,000 and 12,000 Canadian dollars, this 20x25cm painting depicting a profile portrait with missing features on a red and blue background was contested by 12 active bidders, according to Rob Cowley, president of the Toronto-based auction house Cowley Abbott.
First sold in 2001 on a website dedicated to the British singer, the painting entitled DHead XLVI was found in a charity store in Ontario, where an anonymous buyer bought it for the sum of 5 Canadian dollars. It was this lucky buyer who then contacted the auction house.
The work was painted between 1995 and 1997 as part of a series of portraits by David Bowie (called Dead Heads or DHeads), which represented the artist himself or relatives, Rob Cowley told AFP before the sale. It is signed and dated 1997 on the back. The painting was finally acquired by an American collector for the sum of 108,120 Canadian dollars, including taxes, according to Cowley. According to him, the seller was delighted and shocked at the final result.
David Bowie's paintings rarely go under the hammer and this is the first time one of his works has been sold at auction in Canada, according to Cowley. He said he was pleased to see so much enthusiasm around the artwork leading to a record price.
A rock chameleon, David Bowie sold nearly 140 million albums during his career. A visionary jack-of-all-trades, he was an undisputed influence in music, film, fashion and art. He died of cancer on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday.