The Papyrus chain of gift stores is going out of business at the end of this month, so if you are in need of fancy greeting cards and such for 50% off (or more) of what are generally pretty steep prices, get thee to their closest location before they close their doors forever on February 29th, 2020! There happens to be a small store located in Grand Central Station, and that is where I spotted these Aladdin Sane-Inspired Gift Bags! With the discount, I believe the price was about $4, so once I have the occasion to use it, the bag will definitely be part of the gift!
Nothing says ‘Have a Glam Holiday” like a couple of David Bowie ornaments on the tree. I spotted these beauties last summer at the NY Now gift show and have been holding onto them since then, just waiting for the seasonally appropriate time to share! The ornament above depicts Bowie in his “Life On Mars” Suit. Designed by Freddie Burretti, Bowie’s go-to fashion designer (as well as lover and protege) between 1970 and 1974, this turquoise “ice-blue” suit was featured in the music video for “Life On Mars” from the album Heroes in May, 1973. You can watch the video here. It’s a bit lame that the ornament’s designer has added the facial lightning bolt from Aladdin Sane to this piece, but I guess they were going for maximum icon appeal.
On the far left in the photo above, you’ll see another ornament that’s a bust-only attempt at a likeness of Bowie where he’s probably meant to be wearing the “Space Oddity” space suit, with its flared shoulder pads. Bowie wore that suit in the early days of the 1972–73 Ziggy Stardust tour. Once again, they added the lightning bolt adornment to Bowie’s face, which is historically inaccurate, but kind of necessary for identification purposes, since the face looks nothing like Bowie at all. These ornaments are available from Cody Foster & Co on Amazon Dot Com for $24.99 each.
A definite “Oh, Wow!” moment at the recent BDNY show — (boutique design for the hospitality industry) at Javits Center — occurred when I walked into the booth for Century Industries. Because: David Bowie Chair.
This gorgeous side chair, upholstered in vinyl imprinted with images of David Bowie from the Aladdin Sane era, is a show-stopper for sure. The chair was designed by Century designer Lenny Levine in collaboration with Heloise Godin, another talented designer in the firm’s Connecticut office. Lenny was happy to fill me in on the chair’s origin story.
“Heloise and I tried a few different mock-ups before deciding on the model you saw at BDNY,” Lenny told me. “Only two chairs of the Bowie print have been made so far. There’s another, slightly different version in our Connecticut showroom, with a black frame instead of chrome, where the artwork has darker tones, and there are no images of Bowie around the sides of the cushions. We have made this style of chair with different prints and metal finishes for shows such as HD (Hospitality Design) Expo in Las Vegas and HCD (Healthcare Design Conference & Expo) in New Orleans, which were both earlier this year. These design shows are all part of the launchpad for introducing the printed chair line.
Lenny enthusiastically admits to being a Bowie fan. “The image of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane was chosen because Bowie is synonymous with great art and high fashion. He is a seminal artist and his body of work is timeless; his sense of style beyond influential. David Bowie took risks, he pushed art and life to its fullest and, although he was British, he certainly invaded New York.”
Lenny explained that the chair was given a ‘Warhol‘ vibe, which then inspired Century to go with a Pop Art / Deco style for its booth at BDNY. “The lightening bolt on the face was oversized and colored a deep red and blue, giving it a bit of that Superhero feel. Although the vinyl appears to be distressed, that is a printing effect, making the faux leather appear to have texture.”
“The additional images used are from the same contact sheets from the original album and promotional photo shoot, but they have been treated graphically to evoke motion. The steel frame of the chair was also fabricated on our Montreal factory and finished in a smoked chrome. This finish and the chair’s unique filigree backing gives it an automotive spirit!”
This David Bowie chair is fit for a Rock Star, but priced at just $2500 (a steal), and Century will produce it on-demand for designers, hospitality, restaurants, etc. “We’re also getting requests from retailers to showcase the chair, based on our launch at BDNY,” Lenny added. Exciting! Visit Century on the web to inquire about the Bowie Chair at This Link!
This abstract street art ‘portrait’ with the words “Rebel” at the top — which is an obvious nod to David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album cover — is painted at end of the trash bin corral adjacent to Alternative Apparel clothing store at 281 Lafayette Street. It’s just a short stroll down the block from Bowie’s former residence at 285 Lafayette Street, where his widow, Iman, and daughter Lexi still reside. Daniel Winchester is the artist. A friend who used be the family’s dog nanny told me that this piece actually went up a week after David died. I can’t believe I just noticed it, and how great it stills looks. David Bowie Forever.
This year’s Five Points Festival is a few weeks behind us now, and trust me when I say that the full-on photo recap of this truly mind-blowing event is on the way. But in the meantime, I’d like to satiate your craving for art toy news with a little teaser, featuring my favorite purchase from the show: these adorable Mini Lego Figures of David Bowie as two of his most famous personas, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane!
These figures were designed by artist Ron Reeves of Spandex Studios (SPandEX), and the attention to detail makes them instantly recognizable. For example, the toy above is rocking the Asymmetrical Knit Bodysuit designed by Kansai Yamamoto in 1973 for the Ziggy Stardust tour. Mini Lego Ziggy also comes with a Mic, so he can drop it.
And despite the fact that it says “Ziggy Stardust” on the packaging, this figure is clearly Bowie from the Aladdin Sane-era — distinguish by the iconic lighting bolt across its face. The card art includes an image of Bowie from the D.A. Pennebaker live concert film, Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars (1973). Perhaps a bit more attention to detail could have been employed here, but whatever. It is still pretty cool.
Visit Spandex Studios on the Web at This Link!
David Bowie from the Aladdin Sane tour, 1973. Photographed by Masatoshi Sukita. Zelouf+Bell’s Stones in a Pond Cocktail Cabinet Optical illusion. Photo by Roland Paschhoff. (All Post Photos By Gail)
ZELOUF+BELL’s new season Stones in a Pond Cocktail Cabinet is the third in their cocktail cabinet series with a signature motif; its doors inlaid with patinated solid brass in an optical pattern inspired by the ripple-effect of stones dropped into a pond.
Patinated hinges allow the glistening doors to completely fold back to reveal an ivory ripple sycamore interior, shagreen work surface and leather-lined drawers with handmade ivory figured sycamore pulls.
The top of the cabinet’s oil-filled rotary damper allows it to fall slowly, closed. The cabinet sits on a patinated brass base. Created in a limited edition of 6, plus 1 AP. Visit This Link for more information.
Photographed at the Architectural Digest Design Show at Pier 94, NYC, March 2016.
Save the Date: Stephen Romano Gallery is very honored to be presenting the group exhibition Saint Bowie, opening March 2, 2016, with a reception from 5 – 9 PM. Saint Bowie will be comprised of artist-made devotional mementos, Ex Votos, Santos, Spirit Photos and other reliquaries which mourn the loss of the Starman, and also serve as a means by which to commune with Bowie on the other side.
Saint Bowie will feature art by some of our very favorite artists including Sas and Colin Christian, Nyazhul Blanco and Lori Field, among many others, listed below.
See you there!
These two pieces of art featuring the likeness of the late, great David Bowie (it feels so weird to type that) were originally featured in This Post from last summer, but I decided to haul them out again for an encore. Because, clicks.
These portraits above were created from broken and carefully placed bits of vinyl LPs. See more photos at the link above!
Planet Earth is Blue, and There’s Nothing I Can Do…
It seems hilarious to think that I was six years old when David Bowie released his self-titled debut album, which would have been on June 1st of 1967. Coincidentally, and in an act of incredibly bad timing on Bowie’s part, that was the shared release date of another album you may have heard of: The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. What a way to ensure that your most heartfelt artistic efforts are completely and totally eclipsed by another act! Bad Timing! In hindsight, also hilarious.
Point being that David Bowie has been part of the soundtrack for me since childhood. Surprisingly, in 2014 (four decades on) I learned more about the guy than I ever imagined I didn’t know. First, Showtime aired David Bowie: Five Years, a fantastic documentary spanning five key years in Bowie’s music career that was just one mind-blowing revelation after another. For example, I had no idea that Legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman played piano all over Hunky Dory. Who even pays attention to stuff like that? Mind blowing. Five Years definitely deepened my respect and admiration for the man, his music and his insane contribution to global pop culture. David Bowie was a Musical Genius!
If you have ears and eyes and you are a David Bowie fan, then you also probably heard about David Bowie Is; the universally critically lauded, career retrospective that became the fastest-selling exhibition in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum’s history. The David Bowie Is exhibition — which featured over 300 items including photos, costumes, artwork, hand-written lyrics, stage props, videos and other items from David Bowie’s Personal Archives toured Toronto, Sao Paulo and Berlin, and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art — its only stop in the US, among other destinations. At that same time, a documentary film about the touring art exhibition, also called David Bowie Is, had a one-night only screening in various theaters across the country. I saw the film in NYC and it was so exciting that it made me want to spend a thousand dollars just to go to Chicago and see the exhibit. Directed by Hamish Hamilton, the film was an excellent primer and would certainly have greatly enriched your visit, should you have had exhibit tickets at the ready. For those who wwere never able to view the exhibition in person, this film is the next best thing.
In addition to a detailed tour of the exhibition’s key features, the film included tons of back-story and insights from curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh who serve as onscreen hosts and narrators. And let me tell you, they know their shit. One of my favorite parts of the film is a viewing and explanation of extensive, illustrated storyboards that Bowie created for a film to be based on the Diamond Dogs album. It is unreal. You’ll also hear conversations with exhibit-goer-fans, and commentary about Bowie’s far-reaching influence with pop taste-makers such as Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, who created the iconic costumes from the Aladdin Sane tour that you’ve been looking at in photos for years.
Everybody who loved him has a David Bowie Story, but I was never so fortunate as to meet him in person or even interview him over the phone, and the only time I saw Bowie play live was when he toured with Nine Inch Nails; a show which I recall absolutely nothing about. So, my story is to recommend watching these two films, if you have not yet seen them. David is gone now, and all we have are our shared memories of him and a life well-lived. Godspeed.