Kurt Cobain’s self-portrait drawn in Singapore in 1992 up for auction

The doodle, made on stationery of the recording studio TNT Music Centre, has an estimated worth of over $10,000

A self-portrait drawn by Kurt Cobain, during his brief visit to Singapore in 1992, has been put up for auction among other highly prized music memorabilia.

The piece is being put up by Julien’s Auctions under their latest showcase Music Icons, which boasts “music iconography featuring instruments, memorabilia, wardrobe and personal property” and includes over 1,000 items from musicians such as Prince, Eddie Van Halen, Bob Dylan, Britney Spears and more. The auction will run from June 11 to 13 in Beverly Hills and online.

Cobain travelled to Singapore with Nirvana on a promotional tour for the release of ‘Nevermind’ in 1992. The band did not perform a concert during their stay, but were photographed at local haunts by fans and reporters.

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Cobain paid a visit to recording studio TNT Music Centre, using their stationery to draw the self-portrait caricature. He signed off as “Kurdt Kobain Rock Star” and added the caption “I don’t know how to play and I don’t give a hoot!”. The piece’s estimated worth is between US$10,000 to US$20,000. At time of writing, four bids have been placed, taking the portrait from its starting bid of $2,500 to the current figure of $15,000.

Kurt Cobain self-portrait doodle Singapore 1992 TNT Music Centre up for auction Julien's Auctions
The self-portrait caricature of Kurt Cobain up for auction. Credit: Julien’s Auctions

According to Julien’s Auctions, the piece was drawn and gifted to Jacque Chong, a freelance photographer who worked with Cobain during their visit. Independent label Dover Street Market Ginza had previously reproduced the drawing, with Chong’s permission, on its fashion apparel.

Other items set for auction include handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan for his 1969 song ‘Lay Lady Lay’, Prince’s 1994 Cloud guitar, five custom Charvel EVH Art Series guitars played by Eddie Van Halen, a series of handwritten letters by a teenaged Britney Spears, and a custom-designed Ludwig drum kit belonging to Alex Van Halen.

Cobain’s legacy continues to be mined at auctions and sales in various forms. Just this year, six strands of the musician’s hair were sold for $14,145 at an auction earlier this month, while photos from his final photoshoot in 1993 were packaged as an NFT.

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