Bowie Devotion…Let’s Dance?

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 Let’s dance. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues… Let’s sway while color lights up your face… Glam rock was never understood without his elegance and glamour, nor fashion without revisiting his chameleonic esthetic. His reinterpretation using different perspectives with the freedom and canon rupture that were stuck to his skin, like an artist in permanent revolution that became the voice of a generation.

Coinciding with the anniversary of this birth, from the 8th of January until the 7th of February in the Factoría de arte y desarrollo you can visit the collective exhibition of “Bowie Devotion”, commissioned by Vera Icon. An exhibit composed of the works of 50 artists, also selected pieces from an open call on the figure and legacy of the multifaceted rock star, esthetic and artistic icon of the second half of the XX century.

David Bowie never fell to surprise and defy throughout his career of six decades and multiple genres, influencing in a definitive manner not only music, but also art, fashion, sexuality and films, almost like a man that came from the stars and after having even baptized the spiders of Mars, he said bye from his “Blackstar”. “We need more than ever celebratory projects, inclusive and without prejudices. We pretend to open the palette the contemporary art world holds on a tight fist. Criteria to `exigency´ and `quality´ are frequently seen in exhibits to be too elitist, excluding and profoundly distant to our planet. We need other voices”, suggests Vera.

 Maybe because of this, we were encouraged to participate with our photograph “Abstraction Glam”, a sort of kaleidoscopic time tunnel that became a connection with Bowie´s dimension (thanks to the makeup created by Alba Glance for Guerlain and a look more than bright of Maison Mesa). For me, his legacy is individuality, his creative wit, originality and authenticity. His constant reinvention, the characters he created on stage, like Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke, Mayor Tom, The Blind Prophet.

The power of his shifting identity a creative source in constant transformation.  An stimulus to constant reinvention. As we “constructed” the photograph, multiple images came to mind: Bowie with the looks Kansai Yamamoto designed especially for him and he wore in Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane tours, pieces like “Space Samurai” and “Rites of Spring”, Bowie interpreting Jareth, king Goblin, in the movie As the World Falls Down and his unmistakable voice and dynamic of his poetic words….Should we dance?… Funny how secrets travel…I’d start to believe… If I were to bleed… Thin skies, the man chains his hands held high… Cruise me blond, Cruise me babe, A blond belief beyond, beyond, beyond. No return, no return… I’m deranged.  Possibly my favorite song from Bowie from the “Outside” album.

In continuous metamorphosis: Mind-blowing Bowie

– To each of us who admired him he contributed something different from his chameleonic personality. Vera, as the commissioner of the exhibit, what was your intake and what does the figure of Bowie mean to you?

-Dear, you only have to look at me, and look at everything that happened after him. Maybe what is the most important is demonstrating that a heterosexual could wear makeup and marry the most beautiful woman in the world (Iman). For you Carolina?

– In my work, what I like most is becoming a new woman every time. Create from different and transformational vertices of myself. There is not only one Carolina, in every project a new one is created that holds a bit of all the other Carolina´s, and this is something that Bowie has inspired. Since I was little I have been dazzled by kaleidoscopic Bowie, a new Bowie every time it moves.

– And I ask myself who would be Bowie in 2021… I am fascinated by his capacity to create songs with such a variety of musical styles and tastes: rock and roll, heavy metal, soul, electronic, music hall, psychedelic folk, pop…

– He already did what he had to do. What is required of us is to pick up the baton and not throw it. I wish than besides connecting to his universe visitors receive a fresh breath of air, are liberated from stereotypes and art changes them forever, because that is its function.

– It is an honor to participate in this exhibition, an open exhibit, new and not conventional that ruptures and wraps us in Bowie´s madness. It offers the opportunity  for various artists to exhibit through works of  different genres and formats, it is a whole tribute, a “Bowie devotion”. Maybe that is who Bowie would be in 2021, the “final trick”: to be oneself…

“What I do is very simple, it is only that my choices are very different to that of other people” (David Bowie).

Photography: Óscar Rivilla

Music: Electrophorus

Translation: Covadonga López-Fanjul

Hair&Makeup: Alba Glance for Guerlain

Fashion: Maison Mesa