David Bowie – Original 1978 RCA Limited Edition “Heroes” Lithograph Self-Portrait 18″ x 24″

An extremely rare David Bowie self-portrait lithograph, produced in 1978 as a limited-edition by RCA Records.  Measuring 18” x 24 3/4”, the lithograph is beautifully printed on thick textured off-white fine art paper.

This lithograph marks the first appearance of Bowie’s original artwork based on his Heroes album cover.  The image proved very popular, and was later used on concert posters, handbills, t-shirts, press kits, and even reprinted in the 1990’s by Bowie’s latter day label, Ryko [those much smaller prints measured only 8” x 10”].

We obtained this directly from Bowie’s former product manager at RCA, Ron Ross, who describes its origins in his accompanying letter of authenticity:

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to authenticate a self-portrait lithograph by David Bowie.  From May 1975 to May 1979 I was David Bowie’s product manager at RCA Records, responsible for all of his advertising and retail merchandising material.   

In 1978 Bowie’s manager gave me Bowie’s original drawing and I built a retail contest around it.  I had lithographs made from the drawing, and Bowie signed 120 of these to use as contest prizes.  Key record retailers in major Bowie tour markets were solicited for orders of his catalog of albums, and given unsigned copies of the lithograph to display.  Customers entered the contest at each of the participating stores, and a winner from each store received a signed and numbered lithograph.

This is one of a few extra unsigned lithographs I kept after the contest, which I have had in my collection since 1978.  Sincerely, (signed) Ron Ross.

Ross estimated approximately 275 lithographs were made, with Bowie signing 120 for use as contest prizes, and the remainder used for in-store displays to promote the contest.  All were printed at the same time and are identical in every way, other than Bowie’s signature on the ones used as contest prizes.

Ironically, the 120 Bowie signed were signed with a thin red marker, and nearly every example we’ve seen has faded dramatically, with the signature on many virtually unreadable.  Both signed and unsigned examples are extremely rare and highly sought after.

This example was stored by Ron Ross since 1978 and has never been exposed to light or displayed.  In virtually mint condition, with just a tiny bump to the bottom left corner.  With Ron Ross’s letter of authenticity and Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity.

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