Imagine going to a thrift shop, and finding an interesting piece of art for a low price. Only to later find out the artist was a music legend. That’s what happened to an unidentified person in Ontarioa, Canada. According to Boing Boing, they paid a measly $5 for the artwork, titled DHead XLVI. Only later realizing the artist was David Bowie himself. Now, the owner has placed DHead XLVI up for auction. As of this writing the current highest bid is a whopping $38,100. Sometimes in life, you just get lucky.
Interestingly enough, this wasn’t a painting from Bowie’s pre-rock star youth as David Jones. It was a part of what David Bowie named his “Dead Head” portraits. This artwork series was all renditions of friends, family members, and bandmates. Bowie painted them from 1995 to 1997. So, around the time of his Outside and Earthling albums. There are also several self-portraits as part of this series. And one of them actually sold at auction in Glasgow back in 2016 for a hefty sum.
Is a forgery possible? This painting is from a previously known series by an incredibly famous person, after all. According to The Globe and Mail, they ruled out any shenanigans. A London-based expert independently verified Bowie’s signature as the real deal. And Toronto auctioneers reported no issues with the canvas. The only negative thing of note was that “the frame has a few scrapes and scratches, not uncommon with a work that has not been hanging on a wall.” Doesn’t sound so bad.
Here’s what we’d love to know, and probably never will. How on Earth did a painting from Ziggy Stardust ended up in a thrift shop in Canada? And who would ever give such a precious thing away? We’re sure someone, someday, will make a fictional movie about the journey of this painting. And we bet whatever the truth of the matter is was a far more interesting story than any fiction.
Featured Image: BBC/Cowley Abbott