On Sunday, July 15th 2018, the Bowie Is exhibit wrapped up it’s five year tour at the Brooklyn Museum. Since the V&A traveling exhibit began in 2013, it has visited four continents, twelve museums, and attracted 1.8 million viewers. It was Bowie’s personal request that the touring exhibit end in New York City, where he spent the last twenty years of his life.
I was lucky to have caught this exhibit during its last week at the Brooklyn Museum. Advanced tickets were completely sold out. The alternative was to wake up at the crack of dawn, just to get in line before the doors open. Right before 11 am, the line was starting to feel like general admission to a concert rather than an exhibit.
Luck was on my side last Wednesday. I was able to get in for the 12 afternoon showing.
First of all, the exhibit itself is far from any form of hero worship. It showed almost every era of Bowie’s career. While the initial attraction was seeing his stage outfits up close, it was the breakdown of his creative process that stood out. Handwritten lyrics, rough sketches of stage design, storyboards, scripts, all documents showing behind the scenes.
One example was the “cut-up technique“, originally created by Tristan Tzara, and brought into the public consciousness by Brion Gysin. Bowie, being a William S. Burroughs fan, used the cut-up method on and off in various stages of his recording career. In 1995, Bowie took this a step further when creating lyrics for his Outsider album. He used a custom program called the Verbasizer on his Mac computer, shown during the Bowie Is exhibit.
That’s only one clue what the exhibit had to offer. Entering the exhibit, it was a bit overwhelming at first. There’s a helluva lot to take in. In all, the entire exhibit took three hours to complete.
Apparently Bowie was a huge literature fan. He took a trunk of his favorite books on tour with him, since he was an avid reader. Bowie was huge into German Expressionism at one point, which showed up in his own paintings, also on display. Bowie was more of a polymath than the public realized. At one point Bowie tried creating his own tarot deck. It was for his own private use, inserted into film slide frames. The personal project was never completed, only going as far as most of the major arcana. Unless if that was what Bowie had intended.
Bowie was also an actor, art collector, collaborator, world traveler, well, perhaps just an overall innovator. But we all knew that last part.
After spending three hours in the Bowie Is exhibit, I was literally too exhausted to check out the rest of the Brooklyn Museum. A few days later, I drew something from Bowie’s Thin White Duke era. (A few years back, I had already did something from his Ziggy/Aladdin Sane era)
So which leads us to…yes, you guessed it. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny as The Thin White Duke.
Here we go. The usual promotional hints:
Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo
Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.
One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.
Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.
Special thanks to Natasha Michalina, who let me use her photos. Cellphone pics weren’t allowed, but she was brave enough to sneak a few.