Forever immortalised as the epitome of theatrics, and the Midas of restless creativity
There are various things a music lover would associate with David Bowie–his association with musicians like Queen, John Lennon, Mick Jagger or Nine Inch Nails, 111 wildly-successful singles, a £10M worth art collection, or the iconic look of a lightning bolt across his face.
However, it is impossible to talk about the wonder that was Bowie, and not remember his significant influence on popular culture, right till his death. A man who lived completely by theatrics, emotions and swinging experimentation, created the striking persona he is known for today, right from the word go.
After a series of unsuccessful singles and ‘David Bowie’, his debut album, the maestro hit jackpot with ‘Space Oddity’ in 1969, that coincided with man’s first step on the moon. ‘Space Oddity’ took him to the top of the UK Billboard, and from then, there was no looking back.
Bowie’s constant innovation and boundary-pushing energy reflected in works like the atypical ballad “Heroes”, soul-searching “Ashes to Ashes”, dystopian “Diamond Dogs” or even “Blackstar”, the last album released before his death. Collaborations with Queen for “Under Pressure”, “Let’s Dance” with Mick Jagger and “Comfortably Numb” with Pink Floyd, permanently tattooed his name in the public’s mind. Everything touched by Bowie seemed to turn to gold.
His music hit the right chord across fans and critics over the next decade with his memorable stage persona and out-of-the world mismatched eye colours that caught the world’s attention. The androgynous clothing, quirky fashion and overall eccentric image was projected as his alter-ego, ever-changing with the release of every music album.
The celebrated musician’s needle-like figure donned flamboyant and transformative outfits – from rich, elegant gowns, to over-sized tweed, from asymmetric leotards and jumpsuits to a Union Jack design coat. He experimented with stripes, prints and patterns, giving him the look of quixotic trendsetter.
The unexpected combination of this enigmatic musician’s transcendent music and electric persona met at a curious periphery to influence his taste in art. Once a writer for Modern Painters, an art magazine, Bowie was known for his keen critique of various forms of craftwork. A vanguard of painting himself, his art reflected a plethora of emotions, much like his music – that of loneliness, confusion, passion, abstract behaviour and at the far end of the pendulum, unblemished fun.
He was known for having travelled around the world, in search of art that was created not just by a renowned name, but by an individual who displayed genuine creativity and thought in their work. Most of them displayed a mirror image of his dynamic personality – fiery and spirited.
The career path of most musicians is defined by their penchant of sticking to a similar music style. Bowie is one of those who redefined rare originality with not just every album, but every single.
Rumours circulated in the 70s, about David Bowie’s secret identity as an alien. Funnily enough, he did not discourage those rumours.