Bowie's trailblazing style
David Bowie never repeated himself when it came to his creative personas.
The British singer is famed for switching up his looks and creating new characters for his music over the years. These alter egos have included Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, and photographer Mick Rock got to witness many of them first hand. The lens man acted as David’s official photographer through his Ziggy phase, and still marvels at how the 68-year-old managed to break the pop mould, through his music and his style.
“I’ve always kind of accepted changes from quite a young age, I would say. I think it’s essential. I loved David, and I loved all the changes he went through. For me, that’s being an artist: You don’t keep repeating yourself in the way you approach your creativity, and David, above all, did not,” he told Vogue.com. “He really set the model exemplar. Back in those days, personas were much more static. Madonna picked up on David’s thing–of course, that’s 30 years ago! She was the next one to really keep working the changes, and it bleeds over into the modern world. [Performers today] change their clothes all the time, and it’s pretty accepted. Beyond that, it’s expected.”
David and Mick built up a strong bond over the years, with the singer inviting Mick to photograph him on stage and behind the scenes. Witnessing the singer in all aspects of his life helped Mick see how committed he was to his vision, even when he received a lot of media attention.
“Being dressed the way he was, he kind of had to embrace it fully, and he did,” he explained. “He got a lot of controversial [press], and that probably was why he got his earliest attention, but of course once people got into the music, they realised that he was a formidable force.”
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