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Bowie self-portrait to make up to $9.5k

A painting by David Bowie set to go up for auction in the UK is expected to make up to STG5,000 ($A9,469).

The late pop icon donated the self-portrait DHEAD for the fundraising ARTAID 98 exhibition in Edinburgh in 1998.

The star died on January 10 after a private 18-month battle with liver cancer.

His work is going on sale at Lyon & Turnbull's contemporary paintings sale on March 16 and is valued at STG3,000-STG5,000.

A one-time art school student, Bowie's paintings focus on abstract head studies influenced by the bizarreness and esotericism of 1930s era German Expressionist art.

"Few have so successfully managed to embody the word 'artist' as wholly or uniquely as the polymathic David Bowie," said Charlotte Riordan, picture specialist at Lyon & Turnbull.

"Best known of course as a singer/songwriter, Bowie's 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.

"Though painting and art was a huge part of Bowie's life, his work is extremely scarce to market and Lyon & Turnbull are excited to offer this self-portrait by the artistic legend."

AAP

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