David Bowie is… Dazzling at the V&A

Popstar, countercultural phenomenon, innovator, creative genius fashion icon, polymorphous, multisexual, personality-shifting… David Bowie is many things, and above all one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times. Through its breathtaking new exhibition David Bowie is, the V&A explores the creative processes of Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon, tracing his shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades. Unmissable for anyone who loves Bowie, fashion or music…

The V&A has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the firs international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie: more than 300 objects have been brought together for the very first time, including handwritten lyrics, original   photography, film, music videos, set designs, Bowie’s own instruments and album artwork.

Through this colourful and rich exhibition, the V&A takes an in-depth look at how David Bowie’s music and radical individualism has both influenced and been influenced by wider movements in art, design and contemporary culture. It explores the broad range of Bowie’s collaborations with artists and designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theatre, art and film.

More than 60 stage costumes are on display, including Ziggy Stardust bodysuits, Aladdin Sane’s flamboyant creations and the Union Jack coat designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen. Alongside these are more personal items such as never-before-seen storyboards, handwritten set lists and lyrics as well as some of Bowie’s own sketches, musical scores and diary entries, revealing the evolution of his creative ideas.

David Bowie is a true icon, more relevant to popular culture now than ever, explains Martin Roth, directeur du V&A. His radical innovations across music, theatre, fashion and style still resound today in design and visual culture and he continues to inspire artists and designers throughout the world.”  The exhibition succeeds in presenting that individuality and Bowie’s continuous influence on modern culture.

“David Bowie is” at the V&A 23 March-11 August 2013

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