“Fame” is more than just a David Bowie mega-hit, it’s a new definition for a Bowie painting that couldn’t fetch more than $4.10 a couple of decades ago.
Today? It’s worth more than 18 grand.
The painting by the legendary rock star is up for auction as part of 47 pieces created by Bowie from 1995-97.
An unnamed seller picked it up at a donation center in Canada for just more than $4. It wasn’t until later that they noticed the signature on the back, signed in 1997.
As of Wednesday, the highest bid for DHead XLVI was around $18,000, with another week remaining at auction.
According to CNN, Bowie titled the series Dead Heads (DHeads), and each piece included a nonsequential Roman numeral, according to the Canadian auction house Cowley Abbott.
Bowie, an iconic figure for music fans and musicians worldwide, died following a battle with cancer in 2016.
“The painting itself caught their eye,” Rob Cowley, the auction house president, told CNN. “They thought it was an interesting painting before they turned it around and saw the labels on the back.”
Cowley told Business Insider: “The portrait is quite striking. It is a smaller work that depicts the sitter in side profile. The face itself does not have any clear features but possesses light touches of ivory, pink, and teal.”
He said the auction runs through June 24.
“The auction is going very well,” he said. “Bidding opened … at $4,500 CAD ($3,702 USD) and it has now reached $18,100 ($14,781 USD), exceeding our pre-sale estimate of $9,000-$12,000 ($7,389-$9,851 USD) already.”
As for authentication, Cowley said they enlisted Andy Peters, “an expert in David Bowie’s signatures, based in the UK.”
In 2018, Christie’s sold “D-Head IX,” another signed portrait from the series, for $27,500.