|Costumes seen at the VIP reception for the “David Bowie Is” exhibition at the V&A Museum in London on Wednesday. (AP-Yonhap News)|
LONDON (AFP) ― Outrageous costumes and hand-scrawled lyrics are among hundreds of items going on show in a major London retrospective tracing David Bowie’s relentless self-reinventions over five decades.
Charting the British singer’s rise to fame and his reincarnations as Ziggy Stardust and other outlandish alter egos, the “David Bowie Is” exhibition has become the fastest-selling show in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s history ahead of its launch on Saturday.
The prestigious art and design museum was given unprecedented access to the 66-year-old singer’s personal archives for the show, which includes everything from baby photographs to painstaking sketches of designs for his own costumes.
“David Bowie is a true icon, more relevant to popular culture now than ever,” said the V&A’s director Martin Roth.
“His radical innovations across music, theatre, fashion and style still resound today in design and visual culture and he continues to inspire artists and designers throughout the world.”
Born David Robert Jones to modest parents, Bowie grew up in the bomb-scarred south London neighbourhood of Brixton after World War II.
The exhibition explores his early life and first forays into music with bands The Kon-rads and The King Bees ― with his designs for the fledgling groups’ costumes and stage sets revealing that even at this early stage, he had an instinctive grasp of the power of image.