E-mail this story
'David Bowie Is' features Ziggy Stardust in pictures
"David Bowie Is," the exhibition catalog for the "David Bowie Is" retrospective that opened recently at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (currently breaking museum-attendance records, and running through August), is vast. "David Bowie Is," the coffee-table book, is also a pleasant orange. That's the first thing you notice: The front is orange, the back is orange, many interior graphics are orange; on the front, faded into a sunset hue, Bowie as youthful and spiky, that iconic lighting-bolt makeup slashing his face, and on the back, Bowie in his 40s, haggard and stricken. But composed. Always composed. There is not a picture in this doorstop — toothy Bowie at 6, sitting for what appears to be a school photo; cool Bowie at 20, cigarette at his side, staring questionably at the camera on a London rooftop; disguised Bowie several decades later, in a silver wig and disorientingly exact as Andy Warhol, on the set of the movie “Basquiat” — that appears candid or not self-consciously aware that someday, someone will wonder about this image, its meaning and how to replicate it.
April 26, 2013