Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet)
Nam June Paik
Bowie began playing the saxophone when he was thirteen years old. After graduating from a technical high school with a strong art department, he worked as a commercial artist before studying mime and, later, playing in bands. In 1969 he cofounded Beckenham Arts Lab in South London, a crucible for experimentation that hosted artist studios, poetry readings, and events such as light shows, theatrical and dance performances, and puppet shows. “Space Oddity,” originally recorded and released to coincide with the first moon landing, tells the story of Major Tom, an astronaut who becomes lost in space. For the video, Bowie collaborated with the photographer and filmmaker Mick Rock, who is best known for his images of 1970s glam-rock icons such as Iggy Pop, Queen, the Ramones, Lou Reed, and the Sex Pistols.
David Bowie (British, born 1947). Mick Rock (British, born 1949). Space Oddity. 1972. Video (color, sound). 5:05 min. Gift of David Bowie. Image courtesy the artist
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