1992 self-portrait of Kurt Cobain in Singapore sells for US$281,250

1992 self-portrait of Kurt Cobain in Singapore sells for US$281,250

Kurt Cobain’s 1992 self-portrait drawn in Singapore has just sold for US$281,250 (~S$377,000)

The Nirvana frontman’s artwork was one of numerous music memorabilia put up by Julien's Auctions as part of their Music Icons 2021 catalogue.

Estimated to be worth over US$10,000, the self-portrait features a caricature of Cobain with the words "Kurdt Kobain Rock Star". "Kurdt Kobain" is said to be a tongue-in-cheek nickname that the late artist used for himself.  

Illustrated with stationery from local recording studio TNT Music Centre, the self-portrait was drawn when the late musician visited Singapore in 1992 to promote Nirvana’s Nevermind album. It was gifted to freelance photographer Jacque Chong, who had worked with the band during the tour.

Jacque Chong (left) with Kurt Cobain (right). Photo credit: Patrick Chng

Veteran Singaporean sound engineer and owner of TNT Studio K. K. Wong—also known as Ah Boy—revealed that the illustration was framed and displayed in the studio all these years, but he later found out that it was actually a photocopied version of the original. 

Credit: K. K. Wong via Facebook

During the band's 1992 stopover, Patrick Chng of local indie rock band The Oddfellows brought the members record shopping in Funan Mall, and they even visited the River Hongbao display.

Moreover, Nirvana was keen on playing an informal free gig while in the country, but it never materialised due to red tape and miscommunication. Interestingly, an anonymous Facebook page documenting the band's monumental visit to Singapore has been created. You can check it out here.

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This illustration is the latest in a series of Cobain-related memorabilia that have been sold in various forms. In April 2021, NME reported that photographs from his 1993 'The Last Session' photoshoot would be auctioned off as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).