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A painting by David Bowie bought for $ 5 at a landfill gets $ 88,000

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This item was updated with the final sale price and other details after the auction was concluded.

A picture of the rock icon that David Bowie has sold for nearly $ 88,000 in online art auction after someone grabbed him a few dollars at a donation center at an Ontario landfill.

The portrait, titled “DHead XLVI,” is part of a series of approximately 47 works that Bowie created between 1995 and 1997, according to Rob Cowley, president of Cowley Abbott, who was in charge of the auction.

The piece has Bowie’s distinctive signature on the back of the 9.75 x 8-inch canvas, along with a label bearing his name, the date 1997 and a description of the painting as “acrylic collage and computer on canvas “. There was also a stamp from a London framing company that Cowley said worked for Bowie and other famous musicians before he stopped working.

On the back of the painting you can see David Bowie’s signature and an identification tag.

On the back of the painting you can see David Bowie’s signature and an identification tag. Credit: De Cowley Abbott

The painting was expected to fetch between C $ 9,000 and $ 12,000 ($ 7,300 to $ 9,700), but it topped that price on the first day of sale, eventually reaching a final sale price of more than $ 108,000 Canadians ($ 88,000).

Prior to the auction, Cowley told CNN that the unidentified seller paid C $ 5 (just over $ 4) for the paint last summer at a landfill donation center in South River, which is about three hours north of Toronto.

The person is not an art collector, but he liked painting, Cowley said.

“The painting itself caught my eye,” Cowley said. “They thought it was an interesting painting before turning it over and seeing the labels on the back.”

Cowley said the seller contacted them about the painting in November and they began working to authenticate the work.

In addition to the online research, they contacted expert Andy Peters, who has been collecting Bowie’s autographs since 1978 and began authenticating your signature after the singer’s death in 2016 after suffering cancer in an effort to combat the avalanche of fakes that were available for sale.

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“When I first saw the painting, I knew what it was right away,” Peters told CNN in an email before the sale.

He said he remembered it being sold on a now defunct Bowie website in the early 2000s.

“I didn’t need to see the autograph on the back because I knew it, but obviously the signature sealed the deal,” Peters said.

“The confusion lies in the fact that he changed his signature so much during his 55-year career, but there are certain nuances in each autograph that counterfeiters cannot replicate.”

Cowley said Bowie painted friends, family and other musicians for the DHead series, and even did some self-portraits, but did not identify his subjects.

“In this case, even gender is hard to discern because it has no facial features other than the side profile,” Cowley said. “It’s a pretty amazing portrait, but it’s very hard to say exactly who it may be.”

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