Bowie reinvented himself musically, but I believe as much is communicated through the album art, as sparse as it is, and through the videos, as is communicated through its music and lyrics. It begs for visual interpretation.
Bowie was prescient, and he saw in advance where the United States was heading.
In many ways, Bowie defied categorization by transcending binary identities like male and female or heterosexual and homosexual. Bowie even escaped fixed labeling as a musician, artist, actor, or performer, thereby asserting that rational order’s authority over individuals is illusory. His embrace of opposing images (male vs. female, public vs. private) was the linchpin ofContinue reading “When David Bowie Was a Muppet”
In a culture generally unaccustomed to theatrical displays of male plumage, the glittered, feathered, frequently half-naked David Bowie of the glam rock 1970s presented an affront to traditional notions of gendered norms, introducing instances of “gender expression” some forty years avant la lettre. Fast-forward to the relatively conventional final decades of Bowie’s private life, andContinue reading “Bowie the Rebel and Romantic Typology”
The new persona that we might call “David Bowie in Berlin” was created through a turn to the art of a past era that also grappled with capitalist realism: Expressionism, an artistic movement that deepens the Romantic vein of expressing emotional experience. . . A future is mourned in the spectral fade-out that closes “SpeedContinue reading “Bowie in Berlin, Part 2”