As fans many draw a close relationship with their favorite artists. For whatever reason a personal statement shared within this realm seems to strike many in a very serious way. there are many musicians that cross realms of art into new ventures to varying degrees. it could be argued that no one before, since or possibly ever has done it with the conviction, lucidity, intelligence or poise the way David Bowie did in his lifetime.
This is a goodbye to a true artist that is both academic and personal to me.
The fact is it would be hard to say whether music and the arts would have played quite the role in my life as they have if not for Bowie. He showed what confidence and intelligence can create. With the knowledge of what he reperesented i was drawn to him from a young age.
I recall seeing the video for "Let's Dance" on MTV and being mezmerized. I couldn't explain what it was that made it work. It was a song that seemed all too simple almost innocuous compared to the hip hop and metal that i would generally listen to. The hooks were simple yet they burrowed into your brain. The video itself was something almost obscenly 80's bright and dancey. Yet there was something unexplainable about the person presented as the singer. something almost alien he stood out beyond the other people in videos at the time. He stood tall with a flexible face that showed something intense.
These few sentences could be said about any representation of David Bowie. He alsways was able to illicit something with an incredibly modest economy of words, yet could be verbose and hyper literal. He always stood beyond whatever was going on in popular culture at the time. Stood as an outlier, a true alternative nothing could actually compare and nothing could touch him.
Those feelings are exactly why for some almost unexplainable reason his death hit me so hard. in an almost childlike naievity on my part i almost believed he would never die. He never seemed of this world to begin with. He spoke of being a spaceman a martian and these things felt true to him. Bowie seems intrinsically drawn down the path of opposition in art and seemed capable of making it a road for eveyone to travel after him.
To think he could've been something smaller than a blip in musical history. His reinvention made him and gave him the fame that he had. Very few artists have truly reveled and almost relied on reinvention. With each Bowie album one could never be certain what expect. Whether it be the alien folk of Space Oddity, the biggest glam band in the world as Ziggy, or the plastic soul star of Station to Station. All of these thing were merely beginings, yet all were complete ideas coalesced into music that stands outside of time with a presentation to match.
Truly his music was just part of a public persona that belied his impact in every other cultural medium. While his music is what he is best known for nothing can take away his painting, acting and even a lasting impact on video games. These were generally looked at as musings to music fans but every plunge into a new medium showed another side of Bowie showed another impression of the artist as a man. Even his contribution in music is relatable to acting. No role lasted too long once it showed a chance at becoming stale it was jettisoned for something new something that felt interesting.
Bowie managed something that no artist has even with his final goodbye of an album, the recently released Blackstar, he continued to show what he was truly capable of. It is an album outisde of time yet absoulte in how precise it's message is. This was his goodbye something simple yet intricate not played for cheap record sales. The man knew he was leaving us but gave us a farewell only he could.
David Bowie influenced many facets of my life, he introduced me to new ideas of how music could be presented. He gave me confidence to try and show different facets of my personality through my art, in whichever form that would take. he gave a lasting influence to any artist to follow their ideas alone and leave everything and everyone else behind, if need be, to follow their muse and no one elses. His music was an early bond between my wife and I, a bond that grew into something truly special.
Bowie is, not was, a person who lived outside time and gave himself to the world. The starman can now return home, can stay there and rest well knowing that his influence will be everlasting upon the world's culture.