Markus Klinko has unveiled photos taken of David Bowie that have never been shared publicly before, originally captured for the artist’s 2002 Heathen album. The extensive series ranges from surreal and highly stylised characters – such as Bowie carrying a baby or holding a wolf on a lead – to pared-back portraits. The set also features the final album artwork, showing the artist as a blind man with white, glazed eyes. All the images were apparently inspired by the songs on the album and co-created with Bowie.
Klinko was originally asked to shoot Bowie for the Heathen album artwork after he had photographed Bowie’s wife Iman for the cover of her book, I am Iman. According to Klinko, Bowie consulted on the final image selection for the book and afterwards, Bowie asked him to shoot for his upcoming album. “He asked if I could come over to the Broadway recording studio and listen to some tracks. Bowie said they wanted to play some of the new songs for me before discussing the album art. The mental image of Bowie sitting by a window, smoking cigarettes while his producer played the rough mixes from the board, is a memory that I will never forget. After listening to almost the entire album together, we started talking about the shoot. He had many ideas and was very precise about them.”
“He is one of the very few celebrities I have worked with who personally got involved, and was extremely communicative and very hands-on.”
Klinko has previously photographed Beyoncé, for the cover of her first solo album Dangerously in Love; as well as Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey (for the cover of The Emancipation of Mimi), Kanye West and Naomi Campbell. He has also shot for Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Nike, Remy Martin and L’Oreal Paris, and caused a stir with his images for a Keep a Child Alive charity campaign.
The newly revealed photographs are being shown at London members club Tramp from 1 October 2019, with 10 per cent of profits going to Macmillan Cancer Support. The exhibition will then move to Zebra One Gallery in Hampstead where they will go on sale.
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