David Bowie’s enduring talent in the arts continues to provide interest north of the border, with the announcement of the sale of a rare self-portrait next week in Edinburgh. Fans and music lovers have already shown their attraction to his back catalogue of albums, now they can observe the breadth of his creativity provided that they have at least £3,000 in their budget.

Breadth to Bowie’s creativity

His music lives on both in the memories of his ardent followers and (most likely) through their record and DVD collections. Less well-known one suspects though is Bowie’s ability to communicate via the medium of the canvas and paintbrush.

Bowie donated the work in 1998

Lyon & Turnbull’s sale of contemporary paintings on 16th March will include an artwork by the late Starman entitled ‘DHEAD, with provisional estimates suggesting that the lot could fetch between £3,000 and £5,000 at the auction. The work had previously been donated by Bowie as part of the fundraising campaign for the ArtAid 98 exhibition, which was hosted by Edinburgh back in 1998.

Changing image

Bowie became notorious for altering his own musical image throughout his career, so the concept of being able to reflect his mood and thoughts through painting in addition seems totally in keeping with his artistic tastes. His paintings of abstract head studies are believed to have been influenced by the 1930s era of German Expressionist Art.

Known art lover

Besides producing artworks himself, Bowie was a lover of art in general. He stated as much during an interview in 1998 with the New York Times: “Art was, seriously, the only thing I'd ever wanted to own.” Reflecting his own admiration for and influence by the medium, he added at the time that art could “change the way that I feel in the mornings.”

Blurring lines between the arts

The picture specialist at Lyon & Turnbull, Charlotte Riordan reflected Bowie’s close affection for art when commenting on the forthcoming sale.

Although admitting that he will be best-known and connected with the music industry, she suggested that his “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.”

Admiration for several artists

He particularly admired artists such as Frank Auerbach, Francis Picabia and David Bomberg.

French artist Marcel Duchamp’s sense of humour – if not so much his talent in the art stakes – is also believed to have interested him.

Sizeable personal collection

Although he sometimes played down the size of his personal art collection, Bowie did admit to owning a limited number of works by the likes of Tintoretto and Rubens. His preference though seemed to be for British 20th century art by less well-known names, but usually typifying a particular point in time in his mind.