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Rare David Bowie artwork smashes estimate at Edinburgh auction

A rare artwork by music icon David Bowie has smashed its estimate at auction in Edinburgh.
The work, an expressionist portrait entitled ‘DHead’, was created by Bowie in 1997 and was initially expected to sell for £3,000-£5,000 – but competition between bidders from around the world pushed it to a final price of £22,500.

"This is a great result," said Charlotte Riordan, picture specialist at Lyon & Turnbull. "It is always hard to put an estimate on a work of art of this nature and we had tremendous interest in the painting from around the world, with bidders on the telephone, online and in the saleroom."

The winning bid came from a film and television producer who wished to remain anonymous. Following the auction, he stated:

"I am a lifelong fan and am more than delighted to now own a piece of original art by David Bowie. The first album I ever bought was Aladdin Sane, released in 1973. He was, in my opinion, the greatest artist who ever lived, he will be greatly missed."

It was one of the few Bowie artworks to appear on the open market in recent years, with most of his paintings remaining in his own private collection. The singer had previously donated the work to the fund-raising exhibition ‘ARTAID ‘98’, held at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh.

"The extent of Bowie’s skill as a painter and passion for collecting is little known amongst the general public," said Riordan. "He, like so many of the influential bands that formed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was a product of an art school education.

"He was particularly drawn to figuration in all of its 20th century guises, and his own art is largely formed of abstracted head studies. His style references some of the bizarreness and esotericism of 1930s era German Expressionist art, unsurprising given the dark and atmospheric impact that the city of Berlin had on his musical output."

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