This book, published to accompany the blockbuster international exhibition launched at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, is the only volume that grants access to Bowie's personal archive of performance costumes, ephemera, and original design artwork by the artist, bringing it together to present a completely new perspective on his creative work and collaborations. Read more...
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This book, published to accompany the blockbuster international exhibition launched at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, is the only volume that grants access to Bowie's personal archive of performance costumes, ephemera, and original design artwork by the artist, bringing it together to present a completely new perspective on his creative work and collaborations. The book traces his career from its beginnings in London, through the breakthroughs of Space Oddity and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and on to his enormous impact on 20th-century avant-garde music and art. Essays by V&A curators on Bowie's London, image, and influence on the fashion world are complemented by Howard Goodall on musicology; Camille Paglia on gender and decadence, and Jon Savage on Bowie's relationship with William Burroughs and his fans. The more than 300 color illustrations include personal and performance photographs, album covers, costumes, original lyric sheets, and much more.
Praise for David Bowie Is
"Perusing David Bowie Is (V&A Publishing, distributed by Abrams), the exhibition's catalog, with its procession of poses and costumes and weighty essays tracking the cross-references to pop culture and high art, you get a sense of how much hard work it took to be Mr. Bowie." --The New York Times
"The fans of 50 years or those making discoveries in retrospect will be intrigued by the accompanying book David Bowie Is that is far more than a fanzine."--The New York Times
"Lends context and picks away at Bowie with such insight that it's a rare hagiography with soul." --Chicago Tribune
"Combining top-notch articles on the singer/actor's life and work with official images and reproductions of his fashion and associated ephemera, the hefty, mango-colored book is nothing short of a treasure trove of all things Bowie; a one-stop smorgasbord for the eyes whose pictorials chronicle the groundbreaking star from Ziggy Stardust to Thin White Duke to Heathen and every personality in between." --Examiner.com
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-06-10
- Reviewer: Staff
This companion piece to an exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum explores the iconography, fashion, and music of pop icon David Bowie. Drawn to rock'n'roll as a rebellion against his suburban London upbringing, Bowie's career has been one of constant reinvention and innovation. As a musician and composer, his influences are wide ranging: he borrows as much from contemporaries such as The Rolling Stones and German synthesizer bands Neu! and Kraftwerk as from composers Kurt Weill and frequent collaborator Brian Eno. He is also heavily influenced by broader culture, notably adopting the cut up method often employed by William Burroughs, while being "strongly influenced" by the video work of Andy Warhol. Beyond music, however, Bowie cultivated a constantly shifting sense of style—most famously as his glam rock, alien alter-ego Ziggy Stardust—his various costumes were "Dadaist in impulse and Surrealist in conception and execution." Particularly striking, however, was the cobweb body-suit he wore for The 1980 Floor Show, which features two glitter covered mannequin hands that seem to be fondling his chest as a kind of camp provocation. Indeed, as Camille Paglia notes, Bowie came to embody "the shaman and prophet who crossed into forbidden sexual terrain." (Apr.)