David Bowie self-portrait to be auctioned in Edinburgh

A Lyon & Turnbull employee holds a painting by David Bowie  at the auction house in the Capital. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
A Lyon & Turnbull employee holds a painting by David Bowie at the auction house in the Capital. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
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HE was the iconic rock star whose death plunged millions of fans around the world into mourning.

Now an eerie self-portrait created by David Bowie – entitled DHEAD – is to come under the hammer in Scotland.

The work, expected to fetch up to £5000 at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh, was personally donated by the musician to a charity exhibition in the city in 1998.

It was submitted to next week’s contemporary art sale shortly after Bowie passed away in mid-January after losing a liver cancer battle, just after his 69th birthday.

The Edinburgh-based collector putting the painting up for sale, is understood to have had it since snapping it up at the fundraising exhibition for the HIV/Aids charity Crusaid.

Bowie – who studied art, music and design at Bromley Technical High School, in London – rarely put his own art on public display. However portraits from his Berlin-based era did feature in the blockbuster exhibition devoted to his life and legacy, at the V&A in London three years ago.

Charlotte Riordan, head of contemporary art at Lyon & Turnbull, said: “David Bowie’s entire career was spent actively blurring the lines between the art forms of music, performance and design; the visual playing as big a part as the aural. Famously modest, the extent of his skill as a painter and passion for collecting is little known among the general public. Like so many of the influential bands formed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a product of an art school education. As well as practising art, he also read widely on the subject, even becoming well-regarded as a critic in the 1990s.

“His collection featured modern British artists like Ben Nicholson, Stanley Spencer, David Bomberg, Frank Auerbach and Damien Hirst.”

Held at the City Art Centre, the Artaid exhibition featured works contributed by Prince Charles, Paul Simonon, the bass player with The Clash, as well as Scottish artists like John Bellany, Alison Watt, Ken Currie and Steven Campbell.

Ms Riordan added: “I was very excited with this work came in for the sale, as I’m a massive Bowie fan and I had never seen any of his artwork in person before.

“It was also a quality piece of art as well. It was nice to see that was as talented as an artist as he was as a musician. It’s extremely rare for any of his work to come on to the market. He hadn’t exhibited anywhere since the 1990s. He was always quite modest about his work.”