Monday, January 11, 2016

Ashes to ashes...

About the passing of David Bowie, his vision, visuals, paintings and my youth.

David Bowie in 2002
Photo by Adam Bielawski
Bowie is the man who elevated his music to what can only be described as an art form.
I'm sure I'm not the only 60 something who has been remembering their youth today - following the news of the sad passing of David Bowie. (his website)

He's one of the few people whose tracks remind me instantly of where I was when I first heard them - from a particular classroom at school and a long discussion about 'Space Oddity" in 1969, to Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane in the sixth form. The very weird and "arty' video film of Ashes to Ashes is forever associated with my first year of studies and revising for my accountancy qualification.  Plus who can forget Jagger and Bowie video of Dancing in the streets for LiveAid in 1985!

Importantly though, he is an example of one of the many leading musicians who started out studying to be an artist - studying art, music and design, including layout and typesetting at Bromley Technical College.

He was not so much a rock star - more a cultural icon!

His music over the years has always had a very strong visual identity - and that constant reinvention is not something that you can achieve without a very considerable imagination and oodles of talent for the visual arts

I know that I will miss both his vision and visuals.

I'm not sure how many people are familiar with his art.
I liked a lot of his music but my favourite tracks were all the dance ones and, in particular, Let's Dance. 

It was reissued as a yellow vinyl single on 16 July 2015 in conjunction with the "David Bowie is" exhibition at the Australian Centre For The Moving Image in Melbourne.

The ACMI has now created a dedicated Bowie Channel in his memory.

RIP David Bowie (David Robert Jones 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016).

UPDATE The BBC have just devoted the first 15 minutes of the 6pm News to his death - well worth watching if you have access to BBC News on the Internet. (BBC page: David Bowie - 1947-2016)

Here are some of the obituaries to this great artist...

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