David Bowie At The V&A Museum

Posted on March 21, 2013


This year David Bowie’s musical comeback saw him claim the number 1 single and, earlier this week, the number 1 album. The singer’s first album in a decade is the fastest-selling of the year so far. I think it’s fair to say the comeback couldn’t have gone any better for the 66-year-old legend.

More good news came for the singer this week, as an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London documenting the singer’s life is the museum’s fastest-selling event.

Although not curated by Bowie himself, the singer has given the London museum access to hand-written lyrics, costumes, photographs, film, music videos, set designs and album artwork. The result is an exhibition of over 300 objects and 60 costumes. And just from looking at the amazing pictures, I really want to go.

The exhibition will take a look at Bowie’s work and collaborations with artists and designers. I think it’s easy to forget the Bowie’s lasting influence on the world, not because it’s easy to forget the genius of this man, but because of the number of fields he has worked in. Bowie has been involved with the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theatre, art and film at one time or another in his life, and he has built an impressive body of work in doing so.

I picked up on an interesting point during a BBC report on the V&A exhibition. The reporter said that being at the museum and looking at the exhibits showcasing certain points in time during Bowie’s life made him think back to what he was doing and wearing at that same time in his own life. I personally think it would make me feel very inadequate. I can only hope that when I look back on my life, like Bowie, I have a body of work I can look back on and be proud of. And boy, does he have something to be proud of!

The exhibit hosts well-known costumes including Ziggy Stardust bodysuits (1972) designed by Freddie Burretti, and famous album sleeve artwork by Guy Peellaert and Edward Bell. Visual excerpts from films and live performances including The Man Who Fell to Earth will also be on show. What I am most excited about is the lesser known items such as rarely seen storyboards, handwritten lyrics and some of Bowie’s own sketches, musical scores and diary entries. It is these personal items that will document the evolution of his creative ideas.

Below is a few photographs and images from the exhibition.

Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973

Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973

Promotional shoot for The Kon-rads1963

Promotional shoot for The Kon-rads


Photo collage of manipulated film stills from The Man Who Fell to Earth

David Bowie and William Burroughs1974

David Bowie and William Burroughs

Self portrait in pose also adopted for the album cover of 'Heroes'1978

Self portrait in pose also adopted for the album cover of ‘Heroes’

All images are courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Posted in: Events