"David Bowie changed the entire landscape of popular music, fashion, culture + beyond. To create one classic album in a lifetime is more than enough, but between 1970 and 1980 he produced a classic album virtually every year, sometimes two. It was easily the greatest run of albums in rock & pop music history. An incredible burst of artistic creativity. Who else managed to do that apart from the Beatles? Who else since? They most definitely were his “Golden Years”.
After David Bowie passed away earlier this year, I tried to analyse and process why it seemed a major event in my own life and many others. For me personally, it is fair to say that without David Bowie I might not have become an artist. It was his song 'Andy Warhol' on the 1971 album 'Hunky Dory' that first ignited my interest in Andy Warhol and the pop art movement from a very early age. I always admired the way in which he was interested in 'everything' and took many different elements, sometimes from the fringes of pop culture and synthesised them into credible, yet accessible music. I think he once referred to himself as a 'cultural magpie'. It's a philosophy that really resonated with me and which has influenced my own career.
For this collection of neon art, I’ve created a portrait for each of my personal favourite Bowie years, which capture him at the height of his 1970’s glory. In each one of the portraits I’ve tried to convey the imagery and references for that particular year. For any other subject, I would have struggled to produce so many different portraits of the same subject, but with Bowie I found it easy and could have easily produced many more!
The basis for each portrait is a pencil sketch rather than my usual method of working with photographs. Whilst I was drawing them, it made me feel very nostalgic as I used to do these kind of sketches as a teenager. But it’s also thrilling to be able to totally transform them into amazing aluminium & neon art works that I never would have imagined possible back then."
Louis Sidoli - August 2016