Culture

‘David Bowie is’: The Icon Comes to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum

Culture

‘David Bowie is’: The Icon Comes to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum

Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973.
Outfit from Ziggy Stardust tour, inside the V&A exhibition.
Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973. Design by Kansai Yamamoto. Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita. © Sukita. The David Bowie Archive 2012.
Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973, inside the V&A exhibition.
Self portrait in pose also adopted for the album cover of 'Heroes' 1978. © The David Bowie Archive 2012 Image. © V&A Images.
Floor to ceiling project of Bowie performances, inside the V&A exhibition.
David Bowie and William Burroughs 1974. Photograph by Terry O’Neill. © The David Bowie Archive 2012.
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I have seen David Bowie in real life, watched him sign ‘David Jones’ on a credit card slip. It doesn’t matter where it was, except that it’s a place that diehard fans know he frequents and often make pilgrimage to, looking for and asking after their hero. David Bowie is an icon—a self-creation (David Bowie is not David Jones) responsible for some of the most memorable songs and looks of the last half century of pop.

It is this status, as icon and innovator, that the new exhibit David Bowie is, which opens this week at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, seeks to celebrate. The show—a collection of more than 300 artifacts from the David Bowie Archive, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes and fashion, photography, instruments, and album art—is sure to please the diehards and the medium and light-hards; because everyone’s at least a little hard for Bowie, right?