Brilliantly radical, extraordinarily gifted and fearlessly adventurous. That was David Bowie. Coldly aloof, subversive agitator, doting father. That also, was David Bowie. Loving husband, multi-dimensional artiste, groundbreaking gender bender. He was that too. To us English blokes growing up in cold-hearted, rain soaked England, he was simply; The Guv’nor. A beaming asteroid that had come to visit us for while to take our minds off how depressing the 70’s really were. I remember in 1972 his appearance on BBC’s ‘Top of the Pops’. My sister had placed her new tape recorder next to the TV with a skimpy looking microphone pointed at the mono speaker at the bottom of our black and white TV. Bowie steps on to the stage and everything shifts. I am 7 years old and everything shifts? Yup! I am locked in a place of unknowing uncertainty, a place of creative death, a space where an invitation from a Starman would be most welcome! He gave me that and I never forgot it.
Fast forward to 1999 and I am on location in Joshua Tree National Park and initially I am thinking about U2’s album ‘The Joshua Tree’, but the reference is too literal and then my mind flashes back to that TV spot from 1972 and the next thing I’m stripping off my kit and acting out the role of ‘The man who fell to earth’. It is an exotic moment inspired by a master. The resulting photo will form an important part of my first one man show four years later. ‘Song of Light, Dance of Shadow’
Some years after that I am writing a story about Philip Johnson’s Glass House and during the research I find out that David Bowie is one of the very few musicians to have written a song about Architecture. It’s called Thru these architects eyes and I brazenly steal the title and call my piece ‘Through these photographer’s eyes’ – a stomp around the Glass House estate, the photos of which will form yet another exhibition.
I never met David Bowie or even came close to an encounter, but his creative spirit was always hanging around – an unknowable father figure that could always be called upon for inspiration that was so far outside the box that it never really existed to begin with. Safe Journey, Starman.
All the young dudes thank you for your creative bravery and endless imagination.
The Related Group publish PROVENANCE
I had the good fortune to shoot the photographs for this beautiful book that The Related Group have published to show off their art collection at the Arquitectonica/Arquitectonica GEO designed ‘Icon Bay’ project in Miami.
The piece above was created by Bentel. Nikolas and Michela and is titled ‘Miami Forest’. It serves as the centerpiece artwork for the public park that sits at the bottom of the tower fronting Biscayne Bay.
Silberstein Architecture Cover Story for TROPIC Magazine