Two rare portraits of David Bowie are up for sale at the Bonham auction house in New York. The photos were taken by the late fashion photographer Brian Duffy who worked closely with Bowie for many years and died in 2010 aged 77.
The album cover of sane aladdin which features Bowie as his alias Ziggy Stardust is one of two lots up for auction. Taken in 1973, the look became iconic and the album legendary. It was Bowie and Duffy’s first time working together, but they developed an instant relationship and worked on several projects together.
It was actually Duffy who helped Bowie shape his personas on stage, including the red and blue flash makeup that is now a symbol of pop culture. Not only did Duffy come up with the idea, but he also executed it, drawing on Bowie’s face with lipstick. The album cover for sane aladdin features one of the photos from their first shoot together and the contact sheet is now estimated to sell for between $20,000 and $30,000 (roughly £15,437-£23,000).
The album featured some of Bowie’s best-known songs, including Panic in Detroit and Driving on Saturday. It reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and sold over 300,000 copies, earning it platinum certification.
(opens in a new tab)
Often considered one of Bowie’s most important projects, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) was Bowie’s last album with the label RCA recordings. It received worldwide critical acclaim and was an indispensable commercial success for Bowie, reaching 1 and 2 on the UK and US charts.
Although he’s retired from photography, Duffy was on hand to lend his creative guidance and photography skills for the last time. Brought back into the studio by Bowie himself, Duffy photographed the flamboyant singer dressed in an avant-garde outfit by Natasha Korniloff and made up by Richard Sharah. Bowie’s stunning portrait might not be as expensive as the Ziggy Stardust piece, but a sale price of $7,000-$9,000 (£5,374-£6,910) is a pretty penny for a single portrait .
The late singer and photographer both left a legacy in the form of music, lyrics and photos, but their combined talents certainly lifted each other. If you would like a chance to own either of the portraits, head over to Bonham’s website (opens in a new tab)for more information on how to bid.
• Uncensored photobook challenges Instagram’s approach to nudity (opens in a new tab)
• Best camera for portraits (opens in a new tab)
• Best lens for portraits (opens in a new tab)