yesterday i had a thought pop into my head: watch the new bowie video. which i did & posted here. my sense was “he is dying.” & yet, it seems unreal to wake up to the news of his death. i am not sure i can watch the video again now & yet it was …so boldly facing the truths we can’t bear to face. & he put it out there for everyone in the manner of the true artist that he was. my friend ralph just wrote: “almost planned like performance art.”
‘For the last 18 months (we learn only today) David Bowie has known that he was dying. He kept that information private, while spending his final months doing what he’d done his whole life — making outrageously original, beautiful, complicated art. He made a gorgeous album. He created a show, playing right now in New York. And then he released this, his final video, just a few days before he died — on his 69th birthday.
“Look up here,” he sings, “I’m in heaven.”
Can you imagine, to be making art like this (fearless art that both comforts and challenges) right up to the moment of your death? How do you do that? How do you BE that? To work with your death so imaginatively, in order to perfectly time out the last beats of your life? What a magnificent creature of creation, right to the end.
I am sad today, but mostly I am overwhelmed by awe. This is what it means to be a great artist.
From the beginning, this was a man who showed us how to do life differently than anyone had ever done it before, and now look how he has done death.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
Inspiration, to me, is THIS.
Goodbye to the master, and onward for the rest of us.”
from the producer, tony visconti
“His death was no different from his life – a work of art. He made ★ for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”