Bowie and Art

Joined: February 24th, 2018, 11:05 am

March 6th, 2018, 7:08 pm #1

Found this recent NY Times interview (it's probably been seen and digested a lot before) which I found to be inteersting. I still admire Bowie's passion for and knowledge of art. Was he any good himself?
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/15/arts ... tists.html
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 7th, 2018, 2:21 am #2

See for yourself... Bowie Artwork
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Joined: February 24th, 2018, 11:05 am

March 9th, 2018, 11:30 am #3

paulkinder wrote: See for yourself... Bowie Artwork
thanks Paul. I'v seen the work (love the expressionistic stuff around his Berlin period but less enamoured of the rest) but just wondered what people thought. Dilletante or true artist when it comes to visual art?
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 9th, 2018, 1:17 pm #4

For me, as a painter/illustrator/artist he was pretty damn good. He copied several different styles and influences over the years. Lots of the works he did in oils HAVE to be seen in the flesh so to speak.

German expressionism and Heckel in particular was his thing to translate into his own art.

He mainly used art to get ideas and thoughts out of his head and put down onto something physical, and then sometimes use that as the springboard.

I so wish he would have done more solo art exhibitions. I used to ask him all the time to do more. After the Cork St one in London, he got a bit of a bashing by some art critics (one in particular) and it really did put him off bothering again at the time.
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Joined: February 24th, 2018, 11:05 am

March 9th, 2018, 5:22 pm #5

paulkinder wrote: For me, as a painter/illustrator/artist he was pretty damn good. He copied several different styles and influences over the years. Lots of the works he did in oils HAVE to be seen in the flesh so to speak.

German expressionism and Heckel in particular was his thing to translate into his own art.

He mainly used art to get ideas and thoughts out of his head and put down onto something physical, and then sometimes use that as the springboard.

I so wish he would have done more solo art exhibitions. I used to ask him all the time to do more. After the Cork St one in London, he got a bit of a bashing by some art critics (one in particular) and it really did put him off bothering again at the time.
Interesting stuff Paul, I too wish he had done more art shows and continued to write for Modern Painters (I seem to remember the Dublin/Emin article to be v good). I missed the Cork St show :(( As for critics . . .

In Berlin last year I bought A Tribute to David Bowie HAUPTSTRASSE The Berlin Years 1976-1978 von Egbert Baqué (2013) Broschiert
from an art gallery. I didn't see the Bowie tribute but liked the book enough to buy it (pricey at €14). It mentions his love of expressionism in both art and film and the look of the Thin White Duke as a distillation of all that stuff into a look/costume. It also has some great portraits of Bowieof which I love the Wolfgang Neumann ones. I wish the show had toured.

The Brücke museum Berlin is a brilliant art gallery for seeing a lot of German Expressionism and walking in the footsteps of Bowie and Iggy.

One thing has always puzzled me and that is the argument about him being self-taught Vs art school. I have read he was self taught and went to some Kent art school. I don't think he did an under graduate art course? Anyway, I think had he pursued the art more he may have developed his own vocabulary. Then again, the music may have suffered!
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 10th, 2018, 12:47 am #6

Odysseus wrote:
paulkinder wrote: For me, as a painter/illustrator/artist he was pretty damn good. He copied several different styles and influences over the years. Lots of the works he did in oils HAVE to be seen in the flesh so to speak.

German expressionism and Heckel in particular was his thing to translate into his own art.

He mainly used art to get ideas and thoughts out of his head and put down onto something physical, and then sometimes use that as the springboard.

I so wish he would have done more solo art exhibitions. I used to ask him all the time to do more. After the Cork St one in London, he got a bit of a bashing by some art critics (one in particular) and it really did put him off bothering again at the time.
Interesting stuff Paul, I too wish he had done more art shows and continued to write for Modern Painters (I seem to remember the Dublin/Emin article to be v good). I missed the Cork St show :(( As for critics . . .

In Berlin last year I bought A Tribute to David Bowie HAUPTSTRASSE The Berlin Years 1976-1978 von Egbert Baqué (2013) Broschiert
from an art gallery. I didn't see the Bowie tribute but liked the book enough to buy it (pricey at €14). It mentions his love of expressionism in both art and film and the look of the Thin White Duke as a distillation of all that stuff into a look/costume. It also has some great portraits of Bowieof which I love the Wolfgang Neumann ones. I wish the show had toured.

The Brücke museum Berlin is a brilliant art gallery for seeing a lot of German Expressionism and walking in the footsteps of Bowie and Iggy.

One thing has always puzzled me and that is the argument about him being self-taught Vs art school. I have read he was self taught and went to some Kent art school. I don't think he did an under graduate art course? Anyway, I think had he pursued the art more he may have developed his own vocabulary. Then again, the music may have suffered!
He never went to art school. Just a normal technical school.
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Joined: January 7th, 2007, 9:59 am

March 11th, 2018, 4:25 pm #7

Cheers for that. Always loved his paintings. The one of Mishima from the 78 tour programme was on my wall for years. Wish I still had a copy.

Jx

"I drew something awful on it"
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Joined: February 24th, 2018, 11:05 am

March 11th, 2018, 6:39 pm #8

I thought so Paul (art school Vs normal school). Just read Grayson Perry's Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in its Struggle to Be Understood

which was very good until the last chapter when he basically mocks 'self-taught' artists. Maybe the savage criticism of Bowies's Cork St show went along these snobby art establishment lines. By the way, I love Perry's work and the man himself, pity he had to conform . . .
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Joined: November 17th, 2004, 7:51 pm

April 10th, 2018, 7:25 am #9

Odysseus wrote: I thought so Paul (art school Vs normal school). Just read Grayson Perry's Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in its Struggle to Be Understood

which was very good until the last chapter when he basically mocks 'self-taught' artists. Maybe the savage criticism of Bowies's Cork St show went along these snobby art establishment lines. By the way, I love Perry's work and the man himself, pity he had to conform . . .
To each his own of course but my favourite Bowie artworks are the Dhead series. It seems to me they are a big contribution to his ongoing interest in freaks, isolationists and alienated people that he often talked about.
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Joined: February 24th, 2018, 11:05 am

April 11th, 2018, 3:16 pm #10

Interesting point david. My favourite 2 would be Child in Berlin and the portrait of Iggy Pop in a yellow field with trees. Often wondered if the child in Berlin painting was really a self portrait of sorts. As in, he found his inner child again in Berlin? Just athought.
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Joined: January 17th, 2009, 6:29 pm

April 12th, 2018, 3:47 pm #11

It’s interesting to see that he really could draw when he felt like it, but modern art de-emphasizes drawing (I see it as an anti-elitist pose) and emphasizes surface and accident. Mr. Bowie’s art strikes me as wildly inconsistent in quality, probably because he didn’t have to make a living at it. Once you get into the gallery hustle there’s a lot of pressure to tie down your style. Mr. Bowie was using images for self-exploration, so he had the freedom to be “unproductive”. I’ll see his stuff in Brooklyn so I’ll be able to get a better sense of it. I’ll say he’s no Schiele, but who is?
"Schtum!"
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