So I booked my flights within days of news breaking that David Bowie Is…. would be on show in London. I have to admit there was never a chance I was going to miss this exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum.
The day arrived and I awoke with an extreme sense of pleasure knowing that after breakfast in my hostel I would be able to step outside, trundle around the corner and take in an exhibit devoted to a man who has not only shaped pop culture over the past 40 years but directed my life in down the path it has taken.
To be honest with you I consider myself lucky to have become a Bowie fan all those years ago now. It was 1992 to be precise, even more exact it was just before Christmas. Over these past 20 plus years of being a Bowie fan I have not only discovered his music, I discovered so much about myself through his inspiration and influence. Bowie led me to many great writers, artists and musicians. He shaped much of who I am today. So here I was, a full circle if you like on the steps of the V&A in South Kensington, ready to explore a phenomenal treasure chest of Bowie gems.
The line up to get in alone was epic. Over 300 fans were waiting, patiently for the doors to open. As we entered it was apparent that this was going to be something very special. You are greeted with a stage costume from the Ziggy era, boldly staring you in the face and an instant reminder of where Lady Gaga got all her ideas to shock and awe from. Small and slow steps around the corner brings you to the start of David Bowie’s life and an ensuing journey of utter brilliance. It’s a proper slap in the face to show you the many changes through Bowie’s career.
David Bowie Is…. has a strict no photography policy in place. However through my cunning ways I managed to take many a decent pic with my snazzy little Canon pocket camera. Naughty boy you say? But there was no way I was travelling half way around the world to see this stunning exhibition and not walking away without taking some pics for my own treasure chest of memories.
As the morning progressed the crowds grew larger and getting around the museum became a challenge. Everybody was actively making an effort to allow others in the view the items under the glass or hung high on the walls. The mood was akin to a party atmosphere. I met a handful of Bowie fans from all age groups, who, like me were blown away by the grand scale of David Bowie Is…… which made the viewing all the more pleasurable.
You continue to twist and turn your way in and out of alcoves where no stone is left unturned. For me, one of the many highlights was a special area set up in dedication to Bowie’s Berlin period. As you leave this room you are led into the main hall with massive video screens showcasing footage from the 1974 Diamond Dogs era when Bowie set the tone for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Kiss and Prince with a stage show that has simply never been bettered. This room alone is a visual feast that requires at least an hour to soak it all up. A myriad of visual delights that smacks you in the face, hard at that.
Some four and a half hours later I emerged from David Bowie Is….. buzzing like I was that night in 1992 when I indulged in my first taste of David Bowie as he fell into my lap on late night weekend television.
To be frank with you there is little I can say that would even touch on just how good David Bowie Is….. as a Visual treat. You simply must make your way to London at all costs and see for yourself the visual brilliance that has made Bowie the most important and influential artist of the past 40 years.
I have included a link to my Facebook album of pics I took at the exhibition.