Hey guys! We want to bring you a new piece from Shove It Mag writer Diane Cunningham. It’s something a little different as Diane reacts personally to the passing of the Icon David Bowie both in her own life and in the music world Many of you may know Bowie’s music from the various skate videos dusted with his magic, but take a moment to make a brew and soak this in:
David Bowie: Homage
by Diane Cunningham
There was a feeling of sadness I couldn’t seem to shake off, I didn’t know Bowie personally, but like many others I had been exposed to his art from a very early age and to this day his work finds it’s way into my every day life. Eleven days ago I remember being in Marks and Spencer’s, we were standing in the queue with the CEO discussing the “Lazurus” video.
When I think of an artist like Bowie, I think of a force of nature who gets a thrill out of walking on the wild side. Someone who is able to strip away at meaningless constructions and speak out about core issues without losing their dignity. Bowie for me is the definition of artistic genuis. But not only that he was someone whose way of life was different from everyone else and he didn’t give a damn.
During my teens I identified as a bisexual which was rather risqué whilst living in the Middle Eastern country. Bowie as well as other artists such as Brian Molko made the concept of sexual fluidity seem normal in a hetro-normative landscape. I can’t even begin to explain how beneficial that had been as an adolescent. Bowie was someone that was idolised by people regardless of his sexuality. People could try and scapegoat you for what you identified as but there was a bad ass who was influential and successful regardless of his sexual preference. The live video of Placebo’s without you i’m nothing featuring Bowie still gives me chills.
For me – Bowie encapsulates Judith Butler’s idea behind gender simply being performative (Gender Trouble 1990) in an artistic way.
He – an artist did not appropriate hyper masculinity, but instead challenged the social definitions of what it meant to be feminine or masculine.
I’m glad I had been exposed to Bowie as a child, I guess I have my family to thank for that. He explored the idea of gender simply being performative in such a creative and theatrical way. Looking back – it’s obvious that David Bowie made an unmistakable impact on the music and fashion industry.
David Bowie to me has always been an elusive and fascinating artist. An art collector, an avid literature enthusiast who had appreciation for all types of art. Beyond that, Bowie was an enigmatic amalgamation of entertainment and progressive politics. Unlike most Glam bands during 70’s and 80’s Bowie’s music had not been meaningless there was something more besides excessive make-up, fabulous hair and glitter. He was far more than just a pretty face,he was an intellectual he was progressive in politics such as Race for instance and was an advocate against racism.
A definition of an artist is someone who brings virtue and value through creativity. David Bowie influenced my parents generation, my generation and will probably continue to influence further generations. He has also been the muse behind designers and musicians that i have adored since my early adolescence.
Whenever I think of Marilyn Manson’s mechanical animals album (1998), it has always reminded me of photography of Bowie in circa 1973. Out of all Manson’s albums’ this one in particular was notably different. A lot of the photography and aesthetic seemed Bowie-esque. It was the only album that contained aesthetic elements of Glam rock but in a way revealed the emptiness of it simultaneously.
“Every song of [Bowie’s] was a way for me to communicate to others, it was a sedative. An arousal. A love letter I could never have written” – Marilyn Manson, Rolling Stones.
Can you imagine how some of these talents would have been in a world without Bowie?
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