one of the pillars of rock & roll has fallen and picasso has died twice in david bowie. what i mean by that is there are performers and there are artists; those who embody a higher calling and live their art. as far as i can tell, bowie was never just a performer. much has been written about him following his passing, and much has been written about how much has been written.....so i won't belabor the point, but now giving it some thought and sorting through why it seems like his death creates a huge cultural hole, it's because it absolutely does. like picasso, or any number of history changing creators before him, bowie represents an artist in the classic sense, a master spanning decades, bodies of work, each more compelling than the last, and all of it culminates to be nothing short of mythology. the anti-hero with a thousand faces. i can think of few people with the range to sing with bing crosby and trent reznor both while launching so many musicians down their paths. not surprisingly, he was also a champion of the visual artists too. the most obvious being tony oursler. oursler was probably bound for success anyway, but catching bowie's eye and support certainly didn't hurt.
like so many others, i was compelled this week to do a couple pieces regarding bowie. the first (right) was just pushing paint.....a small study depicting him on stage in the 70's. the second (above) more graphic and based on his final album and videos (which are amazingly poetic in confronting his own impending death), occurred some days later when i realized i wasn't quite done thinking about him. still not, really.....i like that, like him, these two pieces are quite different in tone. occasionally an artist will "reinvent" themselves, and that sounds cool and all, but bowie actually did that time and time again, all the while staying true to his art and arc. oh, and what a seemingly great guy........perhaps a little less self-serving than picasso in that respect.
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artist, former woxy loyalist.