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Posts Tagged ‘Bowie’

Really didn’t do another David Bowie blog post. Thought that was done once I visited the Bowie exhibit over at the Brooklyn Museum. Unfortunately, everything has been really busy lately. Once I had some free time, the first three days was spent sleeping in and whatnot. Now that I’m back blog posting, there’s art to upload, concerts to semi-review, etc. It’s Friday as of this post. So it doesn’t make sense to finally post a new Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Those entries are usually online from Monday to Wednesday, most likely Monday. So let’s go back a few months to when the Brooklyn Museum and Spotify had a massive clever promotion at the Broadway-Lafayette subway station. In addition you could score your own limited edition Bowie Metrocards. Currently I have the complete set in my possession.

It also gave me a chance to take some selfies with my freshly dyed hair, thanks to Second Star salon. Usually I do my own hair, but hey. My friend has some serious skills.

Basically the entire subway station at Broadway-Lafayette/Bleecker Street was covered with Bowie. Hopped on the 6 train. Upon arrival, there it was.

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Here’s some more photos of the Bowie-fied station. Slightly reminded me of Christiane F, when she used to hang around Zoo station in Berlin. All was needed was Warszawa playing in the background. Only it’s gentrified NYC 2018 with no junkies in sight.

It was time to collect those Bowie subway Metrocards. People were lining up at the token booth. How it went was, most of the cards was in the self-service machines. However, to avoid wasting your money with random cards, you could also buy the card you needed at the booth. Luckily the machine gave me one of each, and only needed to buy one card from the token booth to complete my set.

As I was getting most of the Bowie cards from the self service machines, a tourist was looking over my shoulder, watching what Bowie cards I was receiving. Then some Japanese film crew came over, interviewing me about my purchases. They filmed me getting one of the final cards. That same Japanese crew then interviewed some man who told them he couldn’t be bothered doing the physical random purchase; so he already brought a complete set from eBay for $200. Must be nice to have money to burn. When the tourist wanted to do a Metrocard trade, that was my cue to take a break. Too many people were hovering over those Metrocard dispensers. Even though for the most part, it was peaceful.

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The display inside the subway station was still nothing compared to the actual exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

A few days later, I just happened to find a book in the street. It was a Bowie biography. Barely read, near the stairs of some apartment building. Right in my own Queens neighborhood. That was some synchronicity.

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That should cap off the Bowie posts for now. Next week I’ll return with some brand new Psycho Bunny sketches of the week.

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Inside the Brooklyn Musuem for the Bowie Is exhibit. Photo taken by Natasha Michalina, July 2018.

On Sunday, July 15th 2018, the Bowie Is exhibit wrapped up it’s five year tour at the Brooklyn Museum. Since the V&A traveling exhibit began in 2013, it has visited four continents, twelve museums, and attracted 1.8 million viewers. It was Bowie’s personal request that the touring exhibit end in New York City, where he spent the last twenty years of his life.

I was lucky to have caught this exhibit during its last week at the Brooklyn Museum. Advanced tickets were completely sold out. The alternative was to wake up at the crack of dawn, just to get in line before the doors open. Right before 11 am, the line was starting to feel like general admission to a concert rather than an exhibit.

Luck was on my side last Wednesday. I was able to get in for the 12 afternoon showing.

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My ticket for the special Bowie Is exhibit inside the Brooklyn Museum. July 2018.

First of all, the exhibit itself is far from any form of hero worship. It showed almost every era of Bowie’s career. While the initial attraction was seeing his stage outfits up close, it was the breakdown of his creative process that stood out. Handwritten lyrics, rough sketches of stage design, storyboards, scripts, all documents showing behind the scenes.

One example was the “cut-up technique“, originally created by Tristan Tzara, and brought into the public consciousness by Brion Gysin. Bowie, being a William S. Burroughs fan, used the cut-up method on and off in various stages of his recording career. In 1995, Bowie took this a step further when creating lyrics for his Outsider album. He used a custom program called the Verbasizer on his Mac computer, shown during the Bowie Is exhibit.

That’s only one clue what the exhibit had to offer. Entering the exhibit, it was a bit overwhelming at first. There’s a helluva lot to take in. In all, the entire exhibit took three hours to complete.

Apparently Bowie was a huge literature fan. He took a trunk of his favorite books on tour with him, since he was an avid reader. Bowie was huge into German Expressionism at one point, which showed up in his own paintings, also on display. Bowie was more of a polymath than the public realized. At one point Bowie tried creating his own tarot deck. It was for his own private use, inserted into film slide frames. The personal project was never completed, only going as far as most of the major arcana. Unless if that was what Bowie had intended.

 Bowie was also an actor, art collector, collaborator, world traveler, well, perhaps just an overall innovator. But we all knew that last part.

After spending three hours in the Bowie Is exhibit, I was literally too exhausted to check out the rest of the Brooklyn Museum. A few days later, I drew something from Bowie’s Thin White Duke era. (A few years back, I had already did something from his Ziggy/Aladdin Sane era)

So which leads us to…yes, you guessed it. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny as The Thin White Duke.

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David Bowie during his Thin White Duke era, mid-70s.

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Psycho Bunny as David Bowie during his Thin White Duke era. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. July 2018.

Here we go. The usual promotional hints:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress. Just put new widgets for both FB pages on this blog.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.

Additional Links: 

https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2018/03/17/594326984/what-you-could-take-away-from-david-bowie-is

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/david-bowies-secret-life-inside-the-stunning-david-bowie-is-exhibit-in-brooklyn-202335/

 

 

Special thanks to Natasha Michalina, who let me use her photos. Cellphone pics weren’t allowed, but she was brave enough to sneak a few. 

 

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The website Dangerous Minds, which I’ve been following for years, did an article on the Bowie and Lemmy coloring books. If you scroll down, the article shows the Bowie (Aladdin Sane) piece I had submitted for the book.

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/color_me_impressed_lemmy_and_david_bowie-themed_coloring_books_are_here

You can order your own coloring books here.

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Last month the world found out David Bowie had passed away. To the public, the news was quite a shock. Truth was, Bowie had been privately battling cancer for some time.

I found out the distressful news via Facebook. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to log into social media first thing in the morning.

The news hit me a bit harder because I felt that a part of my childhood had died. You see, my mother had just passed away a few months prior back in September. Just as I was sort of beginning to make sense of my mother’s death, the news about Bowie came along. Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead had just died, but still. This was Bowie we’re talking about here.

Like most children, music can be used as a means of escape. My parents would take forever to obtain all mod cons. Which meant we were the last ones to get a color television, and the last one to get a stereo. Strangely enough, we were also the first ones to get an Atari 2600. Anyway, when my father brought home a turntable, that was a turning point in my life.

One of the first 45s I ever owned was the collaboration between David Bowie and Queen – Under Pressure.  Mysteriously it was given to me. Some time later, I remember going to the record section in some department store. On display was Bowie’s recent album at the time, Scary Monsters. However, my first Bowie album turned out to be Let’s Dance, brought during my Boy George phase.

As my teens and early 20’s years progressed, I began to appreciate Bowie more. It was a purchase of Diamond Dogs on vinyl that ultimately got me hooked. Eventually I obtained his other releases on vinyl, cassette and later CD. It didn’t take me long to acknowledge the impact he had on some of my favorite bands at the time. (As documented on my other blog, Dark Entries.)

The older I got, the more I realized he wasn’t just a musician. He broke numerous boundaries, like with androgyny, sexuality, imagery, etc. Bowie taught us all how to think outside the box but yet never losing focus. While he later recanted his bisexuality claims, it still opened doors for many. That’s just it though – a real artist always explores.

Never really having the chance to properly mourn my mother, Bowie’s death in a way gave me a outlet. It was like this: my mother was the root, and Bowie was the dream. Now both were gone.

Of course, as that old saying goes, you never know what you have until you lose it.

Two days after his death, I contacted an old high school friend that I recently reconnected with. We had become friends due to both liking The Runaways and Bowie. During the Glass Spider tour, we went together to see Bowie in concert. Turns out there was a memorial happening in front of Bowie’s NYC residence. Despite the cold, we went.

We didn’t stay too long due to the freezing temperatures. There were people respectfully and quietly paying their respects. To the side, a few were singing Bowie songs. Afterwards, we stopped somewhere to listen to Bowie tunes.

That weekend there were impromptu Bowie tribute parties happening around NYC. Since I decided to check out one of these events, I tried the infamous Aladdin Sane lighting bolt makeup.

Despite this, I’m still feeling the sense of loss. To some he may be just a rock star, which I understand. Not particular fond of celebrity worship myself. However, with Bowie, there will never be another person like him. While Bowie had his faults, he made not just an impact on rock music, but on society. Whether it was through his music, his various incarnations, his films, etc., the man had presence. Due to this, I feel in a way, we are all Bowie’s children. With that, all we can do is just carry on what he started.

The other day I finally the Blackstar CD in the mail. Complete with that stupid PMRC sticker that never did anyone any good.

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After a few listens, I realize that despite Bowie knowing about his prognosis, he bravely carried on. They say that this was his farewell album, but somehow I have the feeling that he wasn’t completely finished saying what he had to say. More like he was coming to terms with his fate. Even what laid ahead of him, he took the time to use death as another project to mold. It was a parting gift to his fans, and he also left us with one more lesson.

So now it’s time to carry on. Like my mother, Bowie was cremated upon request. No funeral, no fuss. It’s time now for the children and other future generations to carry the torch. Because it’s these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds. They are immune to your consultations. That’s the way Bowie would have wanted it.

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Bowie portrait done Jan. 2016 by Michele Witchipoo. Pen and ink, digital color.

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Sometimes it’s not worth logging onto Facebook 2:45 am in the morning. That’s how I found out about David Bowie’s passing.

While I’m still processing the news of Bowie’s death, here’s a blog post from 2013. It’s my Bowie watercolor illustration, which I later sold. Which I now regret parting with.

https://witchesbrewpress.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/david-bowie-watercolor-march-2013/

“Don’t deceive with belief/Knowledge comes/With death’s release”

No truer words spoken as of this moment.

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David Bowie from his Aladdin Sane era. Glitter watercolor. Painting done by Michele Witchipoo March 2013.

 

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Two weeks ago I had plans to do this Bowie sketch. Then came news of his new album going to number one in the UK. (http://www.nme.com/news/david-bowie/69250) So perhaps after being subjected to auto tune pop music crap, there might be hope for the human race. Perhaps not. We’ll see.

I really haven’t sat down and listened to the new Bowie release. Don’t matter. I will always be a fan of his seminar work such as Ziggy Stardust, his Heroes era, and right up to Scary Monsters. While I’m not that much of a Bowie fanatic, no one can deny his influence.

Here’s a quick watercolor piece done this morning. Basic glitter watercolor. It’s not my best, but it’s not my worse either. This painting looks a lot better in person. The scan didn’t do it justice. Now I’ll quietly curse myself for not being a teen or a young adult during the Glam Rock era. Meanwhile the song “Panic In Detroit” runs through my head.

David Bowie from his Aladdin Sane era. Glitter watercolor. Painting done by Michele Witchipoo March 2013.

David Bowie from his Aladdin Sane era. Glitter watercolor. Painting done by Michele Witchipoo March 2013.

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