Anyone who has been on the Internet in the past few hours has read the sad news that David Bowie died yesterday after an 18-month battle with cancer. He had just celebrated his 69th birthday on Friday with the release of a critically acclaimed new album, “Blackstar.”
The BBC News and the New York Times have published two of the many in-depth obituaries about the English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor. For those who don’t know the influence and legacy of his career of more than fifty years, read them. And get on YouTube now.
Since Glasstire is a visual arts magazine, we thought we’d take the opportunity to link to Michael Kimmelman’s 1998 interview with Bowie, “TALKING ART WITH/David Bowie; A Musician’s Parallel Passion.” Besides influencing generations of visual and performance artists, he went to art school and was an artist, collector, and interviewed artists for the British magazine Modern Painters. He also narrated the audio tour for the seminal 1998 exhibition Sensation. Here is an excerpt from Kimmelman’s interview:
I think they’re a generation that doesn’t see a separation between the visual and the audio. You know, 25 years ago there were a whole crop of us that tried to drag all the arts together and create this potpourri, a kind of new essence for English music. It started even before us, in the mid-60’s, when so many of our blues players and rhythm-and-blues bands came out of art school. In Britain, there was always this joke that you went to art school to learn to play blues guitar.
Below is the music video for the song “Lazarus” from his new album, which begins with the lyric, “Look up here, I’m in heaven.”