David Bowie may have lived all over the world, but New York is where he called home. Now that David Bowie is has come to town, there’s a renewed excitement for all things Bowie.
David Bowie loved New York City so much that, at his request, the traveling exhibit made its final stop in New York at Brooklyn Museum. Exclusive to the NY stop are new artifacts, including his coke spoon and Berlin apartment keys.
You’ll need an afternoon to wander and wade through all the details, headphones on — the companion guide to the tune of a Bowie soundtrack is A+.
There is something so surreal about seeing mementos of his artistic process (the most recent are his sketches for Blackstar). His many personas are represented, from elaborate stage costumes designed by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto to his minimal cloth diaper for The Elephant Man. Throughout Bowie’s career, he rubbed elbows with contemporaries like Elvis Presley and Andy Warhol and there are pieces of those histories included. We spent some time absorbing a collection of sketches created by Bowie and friend Laurie Anderson (the late Lou Reed’s widow) as they sat together on the phone, sketching in silence, then comparing the drawings to test out Bowie’s theory that Anderson could read minds.
Each person has his or her own relationship with David Bowie — whether your entry point was “Space Oddity” or maybe as a wee one watching the Goblin King in Labyrinth and working your way back through the more iconic stuff as you got older — so where you’ll linger only you know.
The undeniably fashionable exhibit inspired more than a few museum-goers to show off their own Bowie-inspired lewks, adding to the overall rad vibe of this alternate Bowie reality. Also adding good vibes: a solo Howard Stern was entering as we were leaving.
Our goal is to visit the exhibit several times during its run at Brooklyn Museum and to hit up some of the companion events like Music Video Night with Mick Rock (May 10, 7-9 pm), where Bowie’s alter egos are revisited; it’s like story time for adults. There’s also the sold out Night of 1,000 Bowies dance party. Let’s dance! (we couldn’t resist)
Another oddity of note: Spotify teamed up with Brooklyn Museum to pay homage to the late artist with a Bowie installation/take over in the Broadway-Lafayette subway station. If you haven’t gone underground yet, do so. There are images, his quotes about the city (“There is a sense of urgency in this town.”), a neighborhood map, and visual installations incorporating the station’s architecture. Also, 5 different David Bowie Metro card designs.
New York City hearts Bowie right back.