HEROES | BOWIE | SUKITA



date Sept. 4 > Oct. 9, 2016
place Wall Of Sound Gallery

In 1972 Masayoshi Sukita found his ideal muse in David Bowie. In the 40 years of their freindship and collaboration, they have gone through changes of identity and look that have marked more than one era, from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke. In 1977 they created their most iconic and enduring image: the cover of the Heroes album. A photograph that has become like an indelible tattoo: Bowie used it again with a brilliant twist of creativity for his sudden comeback in 2013 with The Next Day. Two years later Bowie described Sukita as a “committed artist, a brilliant artist, that I would call Master”. The photographer, who is almost eighty, never thought of Bowie as a freind or a photographic subject. For him he's always been quite simply "David Bowie".

“I was in London to shoot Marc Bolan, but I had no idea who Bowie was”, says Sukita. “I got in touch with him through some friends and I got to show him my portfolio. I did not know which music he was playing, but I had heard he had studied dance with Lindsay Kemp. His body language was extraordinary and we both loved the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odissey. So we combined all those elements in our photographs and what we achieved was simply iconic”. 

The secret of Sukita's images is his natural touch, how he confronted and interpreted Bowie's ever-changing complexity, particularly during the shoot that produced the Heroes album cover. Sukita: “Bowie had produced The Idiot by Iggy Pop.  and they both arrived in Japan to promote it. They called me and asked me to take photos of them for about an hour each. Neither of them mentioned shotting an album cover, so I didn't think about anything creative or conceptual. I simply captured Bowie at his most natural, knowing it would be much more interesting. Instead of giving him clues on how to pose, I simply registered his 'persona' on film. I sent him the contact sheets and, a month later, Bowie let me know that he had picked one of those photos for the cover of his Heroes album. It was later awarded as the best album cover of the year by an English magazine. I was overjoyed and proud". 

Heroes | Bowie | Sukita features 37 images, including a series of portraits taken in London in 1972, in New York in 1973 and some live photographs taken in Japan in the same year. There are also iconic images and several outtakes from the 1977 Heroes shoot, some from a trip to Kyoto, Japan, in 1980 and some more recent portraits taken between 1989 and 2002 for the promotion of the Heathen album. Some of these portray a life-size mannequin that Sukita got made to create more new photographs without bothering the "original" subject. A priceless kaleidoscope that proves once more how constant change is the only key to deeply remain yourself.  

Guido Harari, Wall Of Sound Gallery 

Presented in collaboration with ONO Arte Contemporanea, the exhibition will be open Tuesday to Friday 10:30am-12:30pm / 3:30pm-7pm. Saturday 3:30pm-7pm. Sunday 3:30pm-7pm. Monday closed. We advise you to give us a call at 0173362324 to check possible variations. 

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