Art

From another star: David Bowie

Very few people have had such a lasting impact on the world of music as David Bowie. Today he would have been 77 years old. We take a look back, into the future - and at a man whose life could fill more than two illustrated books.

  • Text
    Marko Knab
  • Titelfoto
    Warner Music / Andy Kent

"I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with the potential of Superman. I live on," David Bowie once said. Big words - but they describe the Brit's life and work well and suggest certain prophetic abilities. Today, the chameleon of the music scene would have been 77 years old. His art still has an impact today. In the early 1970s, he played his way into the history of pop music with the epochal album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars". And helped write it. So influential that it is also ripe for the museum.

In 2025, London's Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) plans to dedicate a permanent exhibition to the pop chameleon. With exhibits from an archive comprising 80,000 objects. These include handwritten texts, letters, sheet music, original costumes, fashion, films, music videos, stage sets, Bowie's instruments and amplifiers, album covers and prizes. There are also 70,000 photographs, prints, negatives, large-format slides and contact sheets from the most important photographers of the 20th century. Terry O'Neill, Brian Duffy and Helmut Newton are just three of them. So all Bowie fans - like us - will have to be patient for another year. Which is why we want to give you two illustrated books to tide you over.

Firstly, there is "David Bowie by Sukita". Masayoshi Sukita accompanied Bowie for decades and also wrote texts about their friendship for the book - and if you think the subtitle "Spectacular photos of a legend" is a bit pretentious, that's exactly what the book shows: The book shows exactly that. In 2015, the photographer was asked how it would feel to look at the old pictures of David Bowie. At the time, he replied: "I like to remember the wild times, but that's not the end. I want to keep photographing David Bowie." The pop icon died just one year later.

And then there is Paul Duncan's book "The Man Who Fell to Earth", named after Nicolas Roeg's film of the same name, in which Bowie played his first - and in everyone's opinion best - leading role. It takes a look at Bowie's wild creative phase, which was characterised by extraterrestrial storytelling. It features a wealth of footage from the shoot by film photographer David James, with commentary from the director and, of course, Bowie himself. 

A special edition will be released on 21 March to coincide with TASCHEN's 40th anniversary. Until then, we recommend simply getting in the mood with the collected albums. And let David Bowie live on in his art.

Shop now:

David Bowie by Sukita, Spektakuläre Fotos einer Legende. Delius Klasing. 29,90 Euro
Paul Duncan: David Bowie. The Man Who Fell to Earth. 40th Edition. Taschen. 480 Seiten. 25 Euro
Marko Knab

Marko Knab

Journalist & Photographer
Life writes the best stories - and Marko Knab tells them in text and picture form. His focus: people & their very own stories and cars, motorsports and travel stories. He already worked for Motorsport-Total.com while completing his Bachelor's degree in German Language, followed by a brief stint at a local daily newspaper and a Master's degree in literature and cultural theory - and ramp.

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