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Amazing exhibition “David Bowie is” was at the V&A Museum, London.

Amazing exhibition “David Bowie is” was at the V&A Museum, London.

David Franchi – Saturday, 24th August 2013

David Bowie is a one of the most pioneering and influential artist of modern times”

"Album Cover Shoot for Aladdin Sane"  (1973) Photograph by Brian Duffy, Design by Brian Duffy and Celia Philo, Make up by Pierre La Roche © Duffy Archive

“Album Cover Shoot for Aladdin Sane” (1973) Photograph by Brian Duffy, Design by Brian Duffy and Celia Philo, Make up by Pierre La Roche © Duffy Archive

A 2013 landmark exhibition,David Bowie is” has been at the V&A Museum, London.

David Bowie is” has been organised in a chronological order, spanning from the birth until present days of the famous artist from London. However, in the last two decades “The White Duke” – one of the many Bowie’s characters – did not produce a much. It should have been his “secret disease”, or maybe Bowie just turned too “bourgeois”, or simply lost “inspiration”.

From the mid-1990s, in fact, David Bowie almost disappeared from the public scene. The V&A Museum exhibition has a reduced display of these last years.

Therefore, “David Bowie is“overwhelms the beginning of the artist’s carrier, which in any case started in the mid-1960s, and has already lasted five decades.

The V&A Museum exhibition showed a great amount of memorabilia, together with original costumes, films, photography, and set of design as well as personal items, such as musical scores, story board, handwritten lyrics, diaries, some paintings and his own instruments and album artwork.

David Bowie is” will be influential for London. Bowie is still a great artist, despite the 50 years of work. He incarnates the complete artist, a sort of a “Renaissance man”, polyhedral and who is able to succeed in different fields.

Bowie has always been an art collecting channel. All artists take inspiration and ideas form the world around them. He is a catalyst for creativity. He visits art galleries all over the world, reads lot of books, watches films, goes to theatre, engages with avant -garde, talks to people, really love music. David Bowie is a one of the most pioneering and influential artist of modern times.

"The Archer, Station to Station tour" (1976) Photograph by John Rowlands, © John Robert Rowlands

“The Archer, Station to Station tour” (1976) Photograph by John Rowlands, © John Robert Rowlands

The V&A Musuem has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie. This exhibition explores the creative processes of Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon, tracing his shifting style and sustained reinvention.

The V&A’s Theatre and Performance curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh have selected more than 300 objects brought together for the very first time, including Ziggy Stardust bodysuits (1972) designed by Freddie Burretti. Ziggy Stardust was the first outbreak moment of Bowie, a piece of concept art delivered through popular music. The V&A Museum also presents album sleeves artwork by Guy Peellaert and Edward Bell; visual excerpts from films and live performances including “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, music videos such as “Boys Keep Swinging” and set designs created for the “Diamond Dogs” tour (1974).

Sponsor of the V&A Museum exhibition is Gucci, for David Bowie’s creativity and idiosyncratic authenticity have helped shape everything from contemporary art, music and fashion to popular culture and social conventions.

Another sponsor is Sennheiser. When at the V&A Museum exhibition, visitors will be given audio equipment connected to various devices, giving information (instead of reading) or provide the sounds of footage screened. There is no need to select headphones programmes, they work by themselves, so easy but sometimes they mixed each others. However, in a large central room where video are projected on very big screen, headphone are not working at all but inundated with music.

On 13th August audiences across the country were able to join the Museum for a live cinema event screened from “David Bowie is” as the

"Heroes Album Cover Shoot" (1977) Photograph Masayoshi Sukita © Sukita, Courtesy the David Bowie Archive

“Heroes Album Cover Shoot” (1977) Photograph Masayoshi Sukita © Sukita, Courtesy the David Bowie Archive

finale to the enormously successful exhibition. The event was distributed to cinemas by Picturehouse Entertainment Ltd, and it was shown in over 200 cinemas nationwide. “David Bowie is happening now” was directed by BAFTA winning director, Hamish Hamilton – also Olympics director – and produced by Done & Dusted Productions Ltd.

The V&A’s exhibition “David Bowie is” opened to great acclaim in March, selling more than 67,000 advance tickets, far surpassing pre-sales for any other V&A exhibition in its 150 year history. It has already been seen by nearly 200,000 visitors and in response to the incredible demand for tickets the Museum will take David Bowie is live to cinemas across the UK.

“David Bowie is” exhibition will tour internationally. Confirmed venues are: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (Canada); Museum of Image and Sound, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (USA); Philharmonie de Paris/ Cité de la Musique, Paris (France); and Groninger Museum, Groningen (The Netherlands), with further international venues to be confirmed soon.

“David Bowie is” started from the artist birth in Brixton on 8th January 1947 (real name David Robert Jones). Bowie first caught the attention of the public in 1969, when his song “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart. After a three- year period of experimentation, he came back in 1972 during the glam rock era with the colourful, androgynous alter ego of the concept album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. The relatively short- lived Ziggy persona proved merely one facet of a career marked by continual reinvention, musical innovation and striking visual presentation. Successes came one after each other, almost uncountable, from “Hunky Dory” to “Young Americans”, from “Heroes” to “Let’s Dance”.

"David Bowie and William Burroughs" (1974) Photograph by Terry O’Neill. Hand colouring by David Bowie, Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 2012, © V&A Museum Images

“David Bowie and William Burroughs” (1974) Photograph by Terry O’Neill. Hand colouring by David Bowie, Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 2012, © V&A Museum Images

David Bowie is also a good actor. He studied avant-garde theatre and mime under Lindsay Kemp, and played Cloud in Kemp’s 1967 theatrical production “Pierrot in Turquoise”. In 1976 David Bowie was celebrated for his first major film role in “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, directed by Nic Roeg. And so on, from the Broadway successful theatrical “The Elephant man”, to “Absolute Beginners”, from “The Hunger” movie and TV serial, to Scorsese’s “The last temptation of Christ”.

On 8th January 2013 (his 66th birthday), Bowie’s website announced a new album, to be titled “The Next Day”, his first studio album in a decade. Despite this long silence, the immediate released single “Where Are We Now?” topped the UK iTunes Chart within hours of its release, and debuted at No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart. On 1st March, the album was made available for free through iTunes and debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart.

Nothing more to say, “David Bowie is” and really he IS.

The exhibitionDavid Bowie is” was at the V&A Museum, London, from 23rd March until 11th August 2013.

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2013 by in Museums, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , .

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