David Bowie: Ten of His Paintings
Did you know David Bowie could paint?
With the recent passing of David Bowie, many are mourning the loss of his musical genius. Less known, but equally compelling, are his museum-worthy paintings.
His portraits of Iggy Pop, above and below, are in the collection of the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.
Bowie was passionate about art, both creating it and collecting it. He became an art collector at an early age, claiming that "Art was, seriously, the only thing I'd ever wanted to own."
Bowie studied art in school and, in a New York Times interview first published in 1998, he shared that he began his collection with some Tintorettos and that he even owns a Rubens. Bowie adds in that interview that one of his favorite artists is Frank Auerbach. It is easy to see how Auerbach's work influenced Bowie's own painting. Compare the brushwork and the faces.
When I first saw Bowie's paintings, I immediately thought of the work of , Edvard Munch (most famous for his painting "The Scream") a Norwegian artist who greatly influenced the German Expressionist movement. A few years ago, I attended a Munch retrospective at the Tate Modern in London on a day when I was jet lagged and completely alone. When I left the Munch exhibition, I could hardly wait for some happy company! Of course, Munch is a master, yet his canvases are often darkly emotional and chilling, with subjects expressed violently in vivid colors. I find his work deeply unsettling and making this collage brought it all back! Quick, somebody give me a hug!
In my opinion Bowie's paintings have similar qualities. Indeed, he has been characterized as a "neo-expressionist," a movement directly inspired by German Expressionism. Take a look at Bowie's paintings and tell me what you think. Whether you like them or not, Bowie was undeniably a creative force of incredible magnitude. What a loss.
See more of Bowie's art at A very private gallery.Image in top slideshow on home page of Bowie's art hung in the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands by Peter DeJong/Associated Press.