That Time Helmut Newton Photographed David Bowie in Monte Carlo

In which Ziggy gives us his best James Dean impression.

Helmut Newton, David Bowie (1983), detail.Photo: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Helmut Newton, David Bowie (1983), detail.
Photo: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Helmut Newton, <em>David Bowie</em> (1983).<br>Photo: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Helmut Newton, David Bowie (1983).
Photo: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

In 1983, Helmut Newton photographed a young David Bowie, who would reach new career heights that same year with his timeless hit “Let’s Dance,” for Vogue magazine.

Now, Newton’s never-before seen contact sheet of these Bowie photographs in Monte Carlo, Monaco, will be heading to auction at Heritage New York. Moreover, only two of the thirty-six frames have reportedly been seen by the public.

Related: Awesome, Rarely-Seen Pictures of David Bowie

Helmut Newton, <em>David Bowie</em> (1983), detail.<br>Photo: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Helmut Newton, David Bowie (1983), detail.
Photo: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

“This contact sheet represents a rare convergence between two of the world’s greatest artistic talents at the height of the careers,” Nigel Russell, director of photography at Heritage, said in a statement. “By the 1980s, Newton was considered one of the world’s top fashion photographers and Bowie’s album Let’s Dance was a critical success and ensured his lasting popularity.”

Heritage Auctions estimates the sale to fetch anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000—a modest range given the sums Newton’s works have netted in recent years. According to the artnet Price Database, the record for a Newton photograph was set this past April, when Newton’s 1981 photograph Walking Women, Paris (triptych) was purchased for $905,000 at Phillips New York. In 2010, his contact sheet Self portrait with wife and models, Paris, Vogue Hommes fetched $128,500 at Christie’s New York.

Terry O'Neill, <em>Elizabeth Taylor / David Bowie</em>, 1974 (1974).<br>Photo: Courtesy of Artnet.

Terry O’Neill, Elizabeth Taylor / David Bowie, 1974 (1974).
Photo: Courtesy of Artnet.

Needless to say, rare photographs of Bowie (or, for that matter, anything Bowie-related) are hot commodities, especially given his recent, unexpected passing. Earlier this year, TASCHEN gallery in Los Angeles mounted an exhibition of Mick Rock‘s rare portraits and Kimberly French’s photographs of Bowie on the set of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s film, The Revenant.

The contact sheet will hit the Heritage photographs auction block in New York on April 17.


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