This Sunday, 10 April, the highly anticipated launch of RCA Secret, the annual selling event, takes place. Each year well known artists, designers and architects donate a post card sized work of art, for the institution’s biggest fundraiser. This year the college is searching for a lost work of art created by iconic singer David Bowie, a keen patron of the arts, now sadly missed as a cultural icon whose influence upon many of the young artists to have passed through the RCA and elsewhere is still in evidence. Bowie drew the self-portrait for RCA Secret, the annual exhibition and fundraising sale of almost 3,000 postcard-sized artworks, in 2001. For fans of the famously avant-garde British star, the image is instantly recognisable as a sketch based on his 1971 Hunky Dory album cover.
Bowie was staunchly committed to supporting the arts and sponsored RCA Secret for two years, in 2000 and 2001. Commenting at the time on his involvement in this important fundraising event for the RCA, he said: ‘I’ve had a connection with the RCA Secret event for a good few years now, and I am really proud of the association… it is nice to scribble for a good reason.’
With plans for RCA Secret 2016 well underway, back in its original location at RCA Kensington and due to take place between 8–15 April, the College is hoping to locate the lucky owner of Bowie’s Secret postcard, which was purchased in 2001.
RCA Secret Fundraising Manager, Geraldine Hamblin-Deere commented: ‘Exhibition staff at the Secret 2001 watched all week with baited breath to see which member of the public would scoop the jackpot and land an original work of art by David Bowie. At last – on the final day of the sale – a young girl, who clearly had a keen eye, chose David Bowie’s Secret postcard and went away with a little piece of history.’
Are you the owner of the David Bowie Postcard? Do you know who is? You can follow and help contribute to the search online using the RCA Secret social media sites (@RCASecret) and hashtag: #secretbowie.
Members of the public wishing to purchase ‘one off’ works of art by internationally acclaimed artists, designers, cultural icons, musicians, poets and celebrities at this year’s RCA Secret should register via the website. All postcards have a price tag of £55, and the artist’s name will be only be revealed upon purchase.
RCA Secret 2016 Register Here