The Victoria and Albert Museum in London put together an amazing exhibit about the life and talent of David Bowie, “the prettiest star.” The exhibit is currently on display in Chicago, the only U.S. stop on the tour. I had the pleasure of going to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago to view it last weekend with family and friends who flew in from both coasts just to see it. It was the best pop art exhibit, perhaps even the best of any exhibit, I’ve ever seen.
Many of Bowie’s costumes from various tours were displayed, and there was video footage of interviews with some of the designers talking about their experiences of working with Bowie to create the theatrical effects he desired. Props and memorabilia from his various films and stint on Broadway were displayed, as well as some of his personal belongings. His artwork included sketches of himself, album cover concepts, and paintings of Iggy Pop. I was enthralled with the handwritten lyrics that included lines crossed out that never made it into the final product of his songs. David Bowie is a writer, a musician, an actor, a painter, and a true artist with creative energy pouring forth on so many levels.
It was an awe-inspiring exhibit. If you have the opportunity to see it, I highly recommend you take the time to do so. Be sure to spend at least 20 minutes in the final room, “waiting for the gift of sound and vision,” listening to his music while watching the various video and images displayed across each wall.