Attention David Bowie fans: If you’re going to be in Toronto between now and November 27th, you’re in for quite a treat. AGO, the Art Gallery of Ontario, just opened the exhibit “David Bowie Is,” a hugely comprehensive multimedia show “Spanning five decades and featuring more than 300 objects from Bowie’s personal archive,” including handwritten lyrics, instruments, photos like that of Bowie and William Burroughs below, and lots and lots of costumes like the bodysuit at the bottom. Originating at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, this is the first international exhibit solely devoted to Bowie.
If you can’t make it to the show, you can see a brief preview here and at AGO’s own site. In the short video at the top, Curator Victoria Broackes describes the title of the exhibit as “both an unfinished sentence and a statement.” The exhibit, she says, illustrates “Bowie’s own belief that we all have within us so many different personalities, and we should work hard to figure out what they are and bring them out.” It’s difficult to imagine anyone but Bowie bringing out so many uniquely fascinating personalities as he has in one lifetime. As Broackes’ fellow curator Geoffrey Marsh comments, Bowie is “an astonishingly hard worker” who “performed on average once every 11 nights” for 32 years, all while recording album after album and becoming an international movie star. Bowie may inspire, but he also blows most performers away with his seemingly endless supplies of creative energy and single-minded focus.
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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness
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