Tag Archives: David Bowie

Projects and tributes related to the artist a.k.a. David Jones.

Mixed Media Collage: A Portrait Of David Bowie

David Bowie Portrait Collage
The Ziggy Stardust tribute poster.

This illustration portraits Mr. David Jones (a.k.a. David Bowie) at the time he was performing as Ziggy Stardust. The poster design was created as a collage of many different pieces of vintage paper from old newspapers and magazines with articles about Bowie. Some nice textures and decorations were found on books and all sorts of collectible ephemera as well.
David Bowie once stated: «I’m a collector. I always just seemed to collect personalities, and ideas. I have a hotchpotch philosophy which is very minimal». He used this archive of ideas and personalities as a toolbox to create characters and alter egos to play on stage: «I was a character when I performed all those albums, and I carried the character into interviews, newspapers, on stage, off stage – whenever there was media around I had to keep those characters concrete. The fabric of my work is using my body, my personality as well as my songs and stage performance, rather than a canvas».

The character of Ziggy Stardust is a perfect example of such holistic creational process. It was designed as a collage of various elements from Bowie’s cultural palette, mixing together his collected items: Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, model Twiggy (which later appeared on the cover of David Bowie’s Pin Ups), and many more. The idea for the title (and maybe for the name of his band too) of his concept album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars probably came from an LP recorded by The Rats, former group of Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder, Mick “Woody” Woodmansey, and John Cambridge (who will all later play with Bowie). The Rats recorded The Rise And Fall Of Bernie Gripplestone And The Rats From Hull in 1967. It was written by John Cambridge: «I had just been to see the film How I Won The War which featured John Lennon and I based the name of Bernie Gripplestone on musketeer Bernard Gripweed – the character played by John Lennon». John Cambridge was the drummer who joined stage with Bowie, Tony Visconti, Mick Ronson, as The Hype, for the Atomic Sunrise festival held at the Roundhouse on Wednesday 11 March 1970. It’s believed that Glam Rock was invented that night. Even Marc Bolan (T-Rex) was there, glued to the front of the stage and probably inspired by the show. Tony Visconty has been pretty clear about that event: «For me this will always be the very first night of Glam Rock. I didn’t know it at the time, but when we saw photos taken of us by Ray Stevenson , Marc Bolan was visible resting his head on his arms on the edge of the stage, taking it all in, Bolan never admitted he even went to the gig!».

But the main inspiration for Ziggy Stardust was certainly rock ‘n’ roll dark legend Vince Taylor, a wild stage animal that, by mid 60s, was already on the downside path of his musical career as an acid casualty. It was around this time that Bowie met Taylor (who had took his name “Vince” from Elvis Presley’s character “Vince Everett” in Jailhouse Rock and “Taylor” from actor Robert Taylor, even though other accounts say he got the name from the Latin phrase In Hoc Signo Vinces on Pall Mall cigarette pack) at the La Gioconda club in London. David Bowie recalls Vince Taylor telling him he was a god or an alien or probably a bit of both. Some of the features of This fading rock ‘n’ roll star who went crazy under a diet of amphetamines and LSD, claiming to be an alien god, were later injected inside Ziggy Stardust, who was going to be, indeed, another rock star messiah.
Ziggy and Vince had many things in common, starting with the make-up (and ending with self-destruction). You can picture Bowie thinking about the rise and fall of Vince Taylor, a leather messiah who ended up in a rock ‘n’ roll suicide. A composite rocker who quickly blended into his alter ego, melting in his own confusion.
There is an interview where Vince Taylor (whose real name was Brian Maurice Holden) says: «I’m a normal person. On the stage… My stage is an act». Just like Bowie and Ziggy. But sometimes boundaries between fictional and real can dangerously blur together. As Bowie once said: «I don’t know if I’m writing the characters or the characters are writing me».
Curiously, the name Ziggy came from a London tailor’s shop, called “Ziggy’s”, that Bowie saw from a train one day.

The collection of different pieces that Bowie used to create his own artwork was the inspiration for this mixed media illustration, a portrait made of paper clippings. Recycling old elements in something new, something with a different cut is also related to the cut-up technique. A technique that David Bowie used to write some of his songs, something he had borrowed from William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. But I will leave this for a new post!

Check out my other illustrations and posters dedicated to Bowie:

David Bowie: One Year Later

David Bowie's Heroes Album Cover Remake
Something happened on the day he died.

One year ago today, as a tribute for David Bowie’s 69th birthday, I made this drawing, a kind of Aladdin Sane album cover remake. A couple of days later, following the inspirational flow, I posted a vintage-style-Sci-Fi illustration, along with an esoteric text with multiple-layers of meaning, obviously related to David. It was the 10th of January. Shortly after that, my internet connection went down for the next two days. When I found out that he had passed away, that post turned to be a creepy coincidence. Something like a Nostradamus obscure prophecy. And there is even more, but I will leave it like this.
Something really happened on the day he died, but even some days before.

Happy birthday David! (I hope you have received that present from Syd that I had for you last year.)

Conceptual Typography

Conceptual Typography n.2
Lettering, Fonts, Cutups.

A contemporary tribute to William Burroughs and David Jones (and some other guys).
Typography is the message. An Eastern tarot he said. Something like Experimental Minimalism, or Condensate Reading. Or maybe Condensate Writing. No, it’s just Condensate Thinking.
You are what you see but You don’t see who you are. Minimal Spacing? Closer Face Space. SciFi NonSense inside an Encrypted SciFi Novel. Electric Lyrics spinning far way near Manzana Valley.
Dropped Words on White Pages with Red Lines. The Etiologist who brought the World was Picturing Words. Perception of Sense related to Sense Perception. Meaningful Feeling covered with Visual Significance, both created with Dripping sentences.

In Praise Of A BlackStar

In Praise Of A BlackStar
I took a walk in space and I really felt blue.

This drawing is about the lightning bolt space cult. The Gemini spaceship of Captain Tom is on the way and it’s coming back again. Pray and shout, he was the underground.
The experiment will be performed on board by the Italian astronaut.
His soul was in the lost and found. For in truth, it’s the beginning of an end: We should crawl under the bracken. Angels have gone, floating on a most peculiar way.

I believe in Spiders. Down in space it’s always 1982.

Lazarus, Stand Up And Dance!

Lazarus, Stand Up And Dance!
He raised on the 4th day: a tribute to David Bowie.

Once more deeply moved, he came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
«Take away the stone», he said.
«But, Lord», said Martha, «he has been there four days».
He said, «Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of ★?»

So they took away the stone. Then he looked up and said, «Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me».
When he had said this, He called in a loud voice, «Lazarus, stand up!».

And The Stars Look Very Different Today

And The Stars Look Very Different Today
Stardust comes, Sturdust goes: A tribute to David Bowie.

Following a metre happy. Hope of tonight but I’m said, I’m hoping in only women star. And no, not an all-time God. Your blackstar, with me diamonds, Tom.
I’m way up, a junkie day Strung out (I’m a blackstar).

Action: Only women, Major to kick your helmet pictures .
«I’m Major Tom, never did My Control to Control a message. All I’ve, blackstar. It’s time, tell my Earth “smile”, ah-ah».
«Oh, Tom? I tell bravely why I’m not loud. I’m stepping blackstar. Star don’t say Ormen. I’m eyes, the centre, Tom».
Wanna come a the villa? For here most a blackstar. Major, he died, Moon. I’m in the capsule. Major Tom things. Spirit and spaceship knows your early love eyes on planet pornstar.
Very still I’ve loved. Just one hundred is the kneel. I’m a sitting blackstar, now glowing. Ground And I, girls in the villa. Something want a valuable way of execution.
Tom, I’m not your Ten. Though I’m blackstar and shoes. Oh honey, look Major blue,
remember mama I’m a star. I’m the centre of rose, your Planet on Ground blackstar.
I’m following the rumour but floating happy. I’ve got see right, you’re happy, above sacred ground. So open-heart. My eyes circuit’s here above the pills. Right answer, I’m my candle. How nothing is but eyes, your countdown. The centre stuck with very all. You’ve really green wheels. Smile Ah-ah! You hear your Ormen, stand if you, blackstar: I’m me, not all. Liftoff this eyes, your Ashes to light. I’m not. I’m past. I’m a popstar. Centre engines on the side. You happened and lie. Instead I’m the Major, you better stay clean. I’m to funky, dare this flash! Eagles of six, not anything out can wear Now. Your Man in heaven’s. From the papers I pan. I’m day. An angel rose fall? I blue break a gangster.

Major, a star you’re, Control to needed love. I’m not low Time, I’m shirts, you just go, hitting star. I’m eyes protein. High it’s pain, know a flam, I’m not a Control blackstar. Something gangster, Money and Tom. Blue answer of One, friend I’m a filmstar.
No smoking. I want ice, Tom. So white ashes cried the stars. Blackstar kneel my daydreams, and bravely took to leave.